Gavin Newsom vacations in Montana despite California banning official travel to state

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, vacationed in Montana this week even though his administration banned official travel to the state last summer.

The governor's office confirmed to a state outlet that Newsom is vacationing in the Big Sky State, which Golden State Attorney General Rob Bonta added to the list of states California officials are banned from traveling to under state law.

Newsom reportedly traveled to Montana to visit his in-laws’ ranch. A spokesperson for the governor said on Twitter that Newsom is "on a vacation with his family. He will return later this week." 

The Golden State governor plans to return to work on Monday next week, but his office has been apprehensive in giving details on the trip.

Gov. Newsom's spokesperson Anthony York told reporters that the travel ban only applies to the spending of state funds and that California isn't paying for his travel.

However, York reportedly declined to comment on whether Newsom was bringing a security detail with him to Montana, saying the governor’s office does not give comment on security.

York also attacked CalMatters journalist Emily Hoeven's reporting as "gotcha journalism" in a response on Twitter.

"SCOOP! The travel ban applies to using state funds," York said. "The Governor’s travel is not being paid by the state."

"Connecting the two is an attempt at gotcha journalism that is neither gotcha nor journalism," he continued. "The governor is on a vacation with his family. He will return later this week."

Since 2016, California has been steadily adding states to its list where officials are barred from travel.

Last June, Bonta added Montana and four other states to the list, bringing the total up to 22 states California prohibits officials from traveling.

The ban went into effect July 1 of last year, meaning Newsom’s travel comes at the one-year anniversary of the ban.

"The states are a part of a recent, dangerous wave of discriminatory new bills signed into law in states across the country that directly work to ban transgender youth from playing sports, block access to life-saving care, or otherwise limit the rights of members of the LGBTQ community," Bonta’s office said in a press release last year.

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