One of the sacrifices Donald Trump will have to make upon taking the oath of office is that the famous creature-of-comfort will have to give up his own gold-plated airplane for a bigger, far costlier one: Air Force One.
But Trump wants the public to know that he’s not particularly happy about it. In fact, he wants to scrap plans to upgrade the presidential fleet entirely, as a money-saving move. “Cancel order!” decreed the president-elect on Tuesday morning.
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
Trump elaborated on his criticism in a brief exchange with reporters at Trump Tower: “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “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.”
As with many assertions by the president-elect, Trump’s facts are a little muddled. For one, he obviously has no authority to cancel a government contract until he takes office on January 20. And it’s not clear where he is getting the $4 billion figure from. The Pentagon’s current budget for the next fleet of Air Force Ones is $2.7 billion, according to the military, and the replacement program is still in its early design stage. The Air Force has only selected a model for the project—a Boeing 747-8. It hasn’t actually ordered any planes yet.