The purported author of The Art of the Deal has struck again. From the beginning, and right up through this last June, Trump bragged that he personally renegotiated the $4 Billion dollar cost for new 747s to be used as Air Force One. He claimed he got the price down, a “better deal” so to speak. Indeed, perhaps you remember something sounding like this?
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) December 6, 2016
But, of course, you know the punchline, and you knew it long ago. You just didn’t know the exact number, yet. Huffington Post comes to our rescue:
The Pentagon issued its first formal acquisition report on the presidential planes earlier this month, and the new total cost is … $5.2 billion, Air Force Magazine reported. That’s $4.7 billion for the jets and $500 million for associated costs, such as hangar construction. That’s also a 30% increase over the cost Trump claimed he reduced.
But it may be even worse. While Trump claimed in 2016 that costs were some $4 billion, the Government Accountability Office put the estimated figure that year at only $3.2 billion, according to Dana Milbank of The Washington Post.
Only a master of the art of bankruptcy could A) Lie or guess wrong about the original price to begin with, B) brag that he could buy the same thing for less money, C) Walk away paying over a billion dollars more than the original deal, and D) Will dislocate his shoulder patting himself on the back for being such a genius businessman, facts be damned.
You know he will.
This is our president. He ripped up a deal that kept Iran from developing nuclear weapons because he declared the deal to be bad and he’d get a better one. This is a man who said he would rid the nation of Obamacare and replace it with a deal that would cover more people, with more care, and cost less. This is a man who fell in love with Darth Kim of North Korea and got exactly nothing but more missile testing. This is a man who told us trade wars were good, and easy to win, while we now watch his trade war threaten to bankrupt America’s breadbasket.
Just a bit more, to really hammer the point home, a home we’ve now been forced to refinance:
By 2017 he was fuming about a $4.2 pricetag. “Can you believe this?” he asked at a Florida rally. “I said I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I got Boeing in … We’ve got that price down by over $1 billion and I probably haven’t spoken for more than an hour on the project.”
When contacted by the media afterward, Air Force officials had no idea what he was talking about.
Actually, I am rather encouraged every time that I hear our respected military admit they have absolutely no idea what the president is talking about. After all, he may have unknowingly locked them into a deal, a deal out of which they are expected to fight.
Given these “deals,” there is reason to hope that the nation can craft a new deal with Trump in 2020, one that moves him out of his current abode and into a new one, one with more square feet, more rooms, and greater security, perfectly suited for executive time.
Now that is a price I think we’d all be willing to pay.