The CEO of Boeing said Wednesday that he told Donald Trump the company would build a new Air Force One fleet for less than $4 billion, referencing the figure the president-elect previously claimed the “out of control” contract would cost.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters after meeting with Trump on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “I was able to give the president-elect my personal commitment on behalf of the Boeing Company.”
In comments on Twitter earlier this month, Trump criticized the government’s contract with Boeing to build a new Air Force One fleet, claiming that “costs are out of control.” At the time, he said the cost to replace the two Air Force One jets would be “more than $4 billion,” and he demanded that the order be canceled.
It was not immediately clear what his $4 billion figure referred to, but a Government Accountability Office report published in March estimated that the total cost of replacing both jets would be $3.2 billion for fiscal years 2010 to 2020.
“The planes are too expensive, and we’re going to get the prices down, and if we don’t get the prices down, we’re not going to order them,” Trump said in a subsequent Today show interview.
“We’re trying to get costs down, costs,” Trump told reporters Wednesday after the meetings, Bloomberg reported. “Primarily the F-35. That program is very, very expensive.”
In a statement, Hewson called the meeting “productive.”
“I had a productive meeting with President-elect Trump this afternoon,” she said. “I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the importance of the F-35 program and the progress we’ve made in bringing the costs down. The F-35 is a critical program to our national security, and I conveyed our continued commitment to delivering an affordable aircraft to our U.S. military and our allies.”