Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office now says his campaign paid for a trip to Texas last week to announce a lawsuit seeking to force the restart of construction of a southern border wall, and taxpayers paid only for his spokesman to make the trip.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Schmitt’s spokesman, Chris Nuelle, said Sunday that he was mistaken Friday when he said that the state had paid for the entire trip.
Nuelle still declined to immediately release the total cost of the trip, but he defended the reason for it.
“The trip was paid for by the State, because it was a lawsuit filed by the State of Missouri on behalf of the people of Missouri,” Nuelle said in an email. “Further, I booked the cheapest possible accommodations (I stayed at the La Quinta Airport) for this trip to reduce the money spent. Securing the border has far reaching national security implications, including in Missouri, and the focus should be on Joe Biden’s failure to secure the border.”
Schmitt, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, filed the lawsuit in a Texas federal court arguing that President Biden’s decision to halt construction on the border wall is unlawful because Congress approved the project in an appropriations bill that became law in December 2020.
Schmitt held a news conference Thursday with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton near the Rio Grande River just outside of El Paso, Texas to announce the lawsuit.