Trump Claims $1 Billion Saving On Air Force One


President Donald Trump said Saturday he’d personally negotiated a $1 billion reduction in the $4.2 billion cost of the replacement aircraft for Air Force One and accomplished it in less than an hour. He also told a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida, that the 25 percent discount is “not good enough. We’re still not going to do it. The price is still too high.” Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher told AVweb only that “discussions with the Trump administration are ongoing” in an email response late Saturday. “We look forward to finding a way to affordably provide the military with the capabilities it needs,” he said. At the rally, with one of the heavily modified Boeing 747-200 aircraft that now serve as Air Force One in the background, Trump said the $4.2 billion deal will not fly, at least not with him on it. “I said no way. I said I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse,” he told the rally.

Trump also questioned the need for two identical aircraft to fill the role but he didn’t address the question of redundancy and seemed to suggest that he could further reduce the price by dropping one of the airframes. “Why they need two planes, we’ll have to talk about that, but they have two planes, but we’ve got that price down over a billion dollars,” he told the crowd. He also took credit for reducing the cost of the next intake of 90 F-35 fighters and for getting the program as a whole on track. “You’ve been reading about it because it was a disaster,” he said. “Under the last administration. A disaster. And now we have it running beautifully.”