Gavin Newsom faces criticism after secretive trip to Montana amid state-funded travel ban


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is branded a hypocrite after banning state-funded travel to Montana over its discriminatory LGBTQ+ laws – only to be caught taking a secret family vacation to the state

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing criticism for traveling to Montana
  • The state is on a list of places where ‘state-funded or state-sponsored travel’ is prohibited because of discriminatory LGBTQ policies
  • A spokesperson for Newsom’s office said the trip is a ‘personal trip’ and that the ban only applies to state-funded travel ‘which this is not’
  • The governor is reportedly in Montana this week for a vacation with his family

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing some criticism following reports that he’s vacationing with his family this week in Montana, which is on a list of places where ‘state-funded or state-sponsored travel’ is prohibited because of discriminatory LGBTQ policies.

Newsom and his family left the state on July 1, and governor’s office said he was traveling out of state, but didn’t initially disclose his location.

The governor’s office is now pushing back after CalMatters’ Emily Hoeven revealed his whereabouts on Twitter, stating the travel ban doesn’t apply in this case.

Montana was added to the travel ban list for California in 2021 over bills that were deemed hostile to LGBT rights. It was also recently mentioned as one of the states that ‘already restrict abortion and are likely to have bans in effect soon.’ 

A spokesperson for the governor’s office told KCRA that state’s travel ban applies to ‘expending state funds’ and that Newsom’s travel is not being paid for by the state.

‘It’s a personal trip,’ spokesperson Erin Mellon added. ‘The ban is on state-funded travel which this is not.’

She would not go into detail about travel expenses for security reasons.

But backlash on social media was swift, with some pointing out that Newsom’s location was not previously disclosed by his office in their most recent statement which some say was a stark contrast from previous announcements of his leaving the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing some criticism following reports that he's vacationing with his family this week in Montana, which is on a list of places where 'state-funded or state-sponsored travel' is prohibited because of discriminatory LGBTQ policies

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing some criticism following reports that he’s vacationing with his family this week in Montana, which is on a list of places where ‘state-funded or state-sponsored travel’ is prohibited because of discriminatory LGBTQ policies

CalMatters' Emily Hoeven revealed his whereabouts on Twitter, pointing out that Montana is on a list of banned states for state-funded travel

CalMatters’ Emily Hoeven revealed his whereabouts on Twitter, pointing out that Montana is on a list of banned states for state-funded travel

A statement was released on July 1 that read, ‘Governor Gavin Newsom has left the state.’

But Hoeven pointed out that previous announcements have given more information, like the one in November 2021 that stated Newsom would be joining his wife and children in Mexico.  

Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, owns a ranch in Montana where the couple got married in 2008, but there was no mention of a location on the most recent announcement. 

Newsom’s office responded: ‘We are not in the business of regulating where people have family or where they spend their vacation. Nor will we persecute them for visiting their family. The press shouldn’t either.’  

A statement further explains that no state funds were used in the trip, and that connecting the travel ban to the trip is ‘irresponsible and falsely implies there is something untoward.’ 

A journalist pointed out the stark contrast between a previous announcements of Newsom leaving the state - which included more detail - with the one sent out on July 1 which simply stated that he had gone out of state

A journalist pointed out the stark contrast between a previous announcements of Newsom leaving the state – which included more detail – with the one sent out on July 1 which simply stated that he had gone out of state

A statement was released on July 1 that read, 'Governor Gavin Newsom has left the state'

 A statement was released on July 1 that read, ‘Governor Gavin Newsom has left the state’

Anthony York, a senior adviser to Newsom, tweeted a response to Hoeven that stated that the idea of connecting Newsom’s vacation to the state’s travel ban ‘is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism.’ 

‘OK, so why does Newsom ban state money from being spent to travel to states, then go there on his own dime?’ the National Review’s Dan McLaughlin tweeted.

Anthony York, a senior adviser to Newsom, tweeted a response to Hoeven that stated that the idea of connecting Newsom's vacation to the state's travel ban 'is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism'

Anthony York, a senior adviser to Newsom, tweeted a response to Hoeven that stated that the idea of connecting Newsom’s vacation to the state’s travel ban ‘is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism’

‘Suggests the ban is for show & he doesn’t actually believe in it as some sort of moral stand.’

‘So he’s in Montana with no security detail or any assistance paid for by the state at all?’ wrote another Twitter user. ‘You are going ON RECORD as #GavinNewsom Coms director saying this Right?’

Some of Newsom’s Republican critics have also slammed him for the trip. 

Jessica Millan Patterson, the California GOP chairwoman, tweeted that this was an example of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

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