Here’s the original Tweet:
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) 6 בדצמבר 2016
Trump when asked by reporters about his Tweet answered,” Well the plane is totally out of control. It’s going to be over $4 billion for the Air Force One program. And 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.”
It’s not clear where Trump got his numbers from. The current Boeing contract with Air Force One is about $170 million. About $93 million was spent so far preparing to build the new jets. Building the planes has not yet been started. Air Force One has budgeted $2.9 million for two new Air Force One planes. The base price of a 747-8 the proposed platform for the planes is about $378.5 million. This does not include special state of the art communications and many other necessary but expensive security features. The order has not yet been formalized.
A Boeing official said to CNN that even Boeing itself can’t estimate the costs yet as the Pentagon hasn’t yet decided which bells and whistles it wants for the plane. Without knowing which security features are ordered you can’t price the plane. Boeing is not sure where Trump’s numbers are coming from.
A statement from the White House said: “The statistics that have been cited [by Trump], shall we say, don't appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense,” said Obama White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Boeing itself announced that the current contract helps establish what capabilities these complex military aircraft will have in order to better serve the President. “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,” said Boeing's statement.
It is quite possible that Trump’s calculations are based on the $2.9 million for two planes. Assuming that they may want a third plane, then based on the current budgeting, the $4 billion price may even be low for three planes. It remains to be seen how the costs will be slashed. Either way, many responses on this “Tweet” show that citizens are happy that Trump will be protecting taxpayer’s money.