NEW YORK (AP) – The government should cancel its multibillion-dollar order for new Air Force One presidential planes, Donald Trump declared Tuesday, serving notice he’s ready to jump in and start making decisions six weeks before his inauguration.
Costs for the two Boeing 747s are “totally out of control,” Trump told reporters in the lobby of his New York skyscraper.
The government has contracted with Boeing to build two or more new planes, which would go into service around 2024. That means Trump wouldn’t fly on the new planes, which carry U.S. presidents around the globe, unless he pursued and won a second term. But the Air Force has pressed for a faster schedule, saying the current planes are becoming too expensive to repair and keep in good flying shape.
The contract for the planes was to be about $3 billion, but costs have been reported to be rising. Trump tweeted early Tuesday, “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!”
Later, he said the costs are 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.
The price of Boeing stock dipped after his comments but not drastically.
Asked for comment about Trump’s statements, Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said, “We are going to have to get back to you after we figure out what’s going on.”
Trump now uses his own plane, a Boeing 757, but as president he would travel aboard the Air Force jet, which is equipped with special safety, defensive and communications equipment.