Most people in the United States are probably aware by now that Donald Trump won the recent presidential election, and even though he has yet to take office, the president-elect has already started making some strange comments and decisions regarding his future presidency. In one tweet that he published on December 6th, Trump made a number of inaccurate statements regarding the new Air Force One planes that are scheduled to be delivered to the United States Air Force in 2022.
Trump started his tweet off by saying that Boeing is in the process of building a brand new plane for the Air Force One program. He stated the plane would be for future presidents, which isn’t technically untrue since future presidents would use the plane, but he went on to claim the cost of the new plane would be over $4 billion. He ended the tweet with a call to ‘cancel the order’ from Boeing.
There are several inaccuracies within this tweet that apparently targeted Boeing for some unknown reason. Trump blatantly accused the manufacturer of letting costs purposely go beyond what they should be. Of course, as anyone who has followed Trump’s rise to power can attest, the man isn’t exactly fond of sticking to the truth or even reality in general. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the next president is able to convey so many lies in a short message, but he had no trouble completing the task.
The very first three words of the statement incorporate the first lie within the full statement. Trump said that ‘Boeing is building…’, but the reality of the situation is more complex. Boeing has received a $170 million contract from the Air Force to design the new Air Force One jets. Boeing has not yet received a contract to actually build the jets, although it seems likely that will happen down the road since they are one of the few manufacturers capable of producing such vehicles.
Secondly, Trump stated that they would be building a brand new 747 Air Force One. While that is a moderately true statement, in reality there will be at least two of these planes produced since the government requires a spare in case of emergencies. These planes are usually in service for about 30 years, and the existing Air Force One jets are approaching 26 years of age. Technically speaking, any plane that carries the president receives the distinction of being called ‘Air Force One’, but these modified 747-8 jets are designed to specifically fulfill that purpose.
Trump went on to say that the costs of the project would be out of control, and that it would end up costing the American people more than $4 billion to complete. This is blatantly untrue, and the figure seems to have originated in Trump’s mind. Costs for the production of the new pair of Air Force One jets have yet to be finalized, but there is a preliminary cost estimate of $2.9 billion for the next five years. That figure includes the cost to produce, design, and implement the new jets.
Assuming an additional $1 billion was added to the budget, Trump wouldn’t be far off on his estimate, but the budget still has to be approved by Congress. Not only that, but the costs could changed depending on the final designs from Boeing. Of course, the company plans to make no profit from the project, but instead are merely honored to have the opportunity to help America with such a specific task.
The last phrase of Trump’s ignorant tweet included a call to ‘cancel the order’. However, the government has yet to actually place an order for the jets. Of course, Trump could cancel the program that would allow for the new jets to be purchased by the government, but the Pentagon has already stated that current planes won’t last much longer.