Boeing Reponds To Trump’s Air Force One Tweet: You’re A F**king Idiot

Update: Slate has pointed out that the Pentagon has “budgeted $4 billion in total spending through 2021 for two new Air Force ones from the company.” If one plane is four and earmarked R&D is the black-and-white cost of the project, he’s right. It isn’t, and he isn’t. The Pentagon’s earmarked funds are not the projected budget by Boeing. 

Donald Trump made news this morning for a Tweet stating: “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!”

I don’t know where he got that idea. Like many of Trump’s ideas, it was likely pulled from the ether, or maybe from the ass of a white nationalist on Twitter. Boeing was quick to set him straight, however — considering the project is more than an order of magnitude less than Trump thinks it is. Here’s Boeing’s statement on the matter:

We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States. 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.

According to Rueters, in January, when the contract was awarded, “Details about the total value of the new contract have not been released, but the Air Force has previously said that it had earmarked $1.65 billion for two replacement jets.”

Costs — and the number of jets — can change, but it’s still not clear at all what Trump is talking about. Even various right wing publications which have blown up the cost over the last year have not reported a figure over three billion, and even that was not sourced to any budget sheet.

And, no matter the cost, it’s very clear that Donald Trump has no idea what is being paid for. There will be multiple planes, first of all — two or three — and even if the project DID run that far over budget (there is no evidence of that), it’s not just the president’s version of a private jet:

What drives the price tag isn’t the cost of the plane, it’s all the costly modifications and equipment that must be installed on such a unique aircraft,” said Loren B. Thompson, a senior aviation analyst and industry consultant with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute.

Air Force One is filled with communications gear and defensive equipment to evade airborne threats, such as anti-aircraft missiles.

“It’s really not just about getting the president from point A to point B,” Buckley said. “It’s adding communication equipment. It’s adding defensive gear. It’s adding everything that the president needs in order to execute his mission in that airplane. He has to be able to do everything in all his roles: commander in chief, chief executive, head of state, president of the United States.”

“Boeing’s 747 is the only U.S.-built jet that can support all the functions required of an airborne White House,” Thompson said. “The plane must be linked to all U.S. military forces worldwide and able to function even in the midst of a nuclear war.” (Source)

Yet again, Donald Trump has shown us that he doesn’t have even a thin veneer of competence or desire to find the facts. We’re doomed.

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Featured image via Ty Wright/Getty Images