Reporters Allegedly Stealing From Air Force One

air force one
Air Force One | Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

White House reporters have been engaging in “rampant thievery” of goods while aboard Air Force One, according to a report.

NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, who serves as the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, sent an email last month reminding reporters not to take items from Air Force One, as reported by Politico.

The outlet confirmed the allegations with several sources who detailed the criminal habits of some journalists, which included stealing luxury goods from the iconic aircraft in recent years. Examples included shoving whiskey tumblers and wine glasses into personal bags.

One source cited in the story said they were encouraged by a fellow reporter to steal.

“On my first flight, the person next to me was like, ‘You should take that glass,’” one current White House reporter told Politico. “They were like: ‘Everyone does it.’”

Sources told the outlet that in one specific instance, the press corps stole gold-rimmed Air Force One plates, and in a different incident, the clinking of glassware and porcelain plates could be heard inside the backpacks of reporters upon landing at Joint Base Andrews.

O’Donnell’s email was sent to the press corps after the White House Travel Office said several items were missing from its inventory. She noted some of these items could be purchased.

“But the glasses that are sold on the [Air Force] site aren’t the same as the ones they have on the plane,” one former administration official told Politico. “Same with the blankets. That’s why the ones on board are so coveted.”

White House staffers reportedly coordinated discreet returns of items stolen by reporters, which involved an email to all reporters who went on a specific trip.

“It was like, ‘Hey, if you inadvertently wound up taking something off the plane by mistake, we can help facilitate a quiet return,’” one source told Politico.

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