Donald Trump Wants to Cancel Air Force One Order
The president-elect says the cost of the new Boeing jet "is totally out of control."
President-elect Donald Trump said the brand-new Air Force One is "out of control," even tweeting Tuesday that he wants to cancel the order.
Last year, the Air Force placed an order for two or more new Boeing 747-800 jets slated to become operational in 2024. Trump wouldn't fly on the new planes unless he were to run for and win a second term.
Early Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that "costs are out of control," claiming that plans for the jet that will fly future presidents around the globe is pricing at more than $4 billion.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
The president-elect then elaborated while speaking to reporters in the Trump Tower lobby in New York City on Tuesday.
"Well the plane is totally out of control, it's going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program," he said. "I think it's ridiculous, I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money."
According to the Associated Press, the contract for the planes was initially set at about $3 billion and the Air Force has pressed for a faster schedule, saying the current planes are too expensive to maintain.
A Boeing spokesman initially told the AP in response to Trump's comments: "We are going to have to get back to you after we figure out what's going on."
The company later released a statement: "We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States. We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer."
Reports citing defense analysts put Trump's $4 billion claim as an accurate estimation.
Trump currently uses his own plane, a Boeing 757 he bought from Paul Allen in 2010, but would be required to use one of the two Air Force One jets as president.
As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, the presidential planes outclass Trump's.
Each comes equipped with a top-secret encrypted communications system, including teleconferencing that can deliver a televised address from 40,000 feet; an anti-missile defense system and radar-jamming capabilities. The presidential planes can carry more than 70 people and fly up to 7,550 miles at a top speed of 701 mph, while Trump's can carry 43 people 4,400 miles at up to 609 mph.
Trump, however, refurbished his jet to include 24-karat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom fittings, as well as cream-colored leather seats. The plane boasts a 57-inch high-definition TV screen with digital surround sound.
The amenities of the Air Force One planes, by comparison, include a presidential suite with a treadmill and an operating room stocked with the president's blood.
The price of Boeing stock dipped more than 1 percent in the wake of Trump's comments.
In 2013, Trump tweeted that he bought stock in the company but his spokesman Jason Miller confirmed on Tuesday that he sold it all in June.
On Dec. 2, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg voiced concern over Trump's trade policies, calling on the president-elect and Congress to ensure the U.S. continues to play a leading role when it comes to global agreements.
“If we do not lead when it comes to writing these rules, our competitors will write them for us,” Muilenburg said in a speech to the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. “For Boeing, that could result in higher costs, disrupted supply chains and regulations that diminish our ability to sell products around the world.”
Dec. 6, 12:10 p.m. ET: Updated with Boeing statement, Miller confirmation.