President-elect Donald Trump has once again used social media and the press to pressure to coerce promises out of CEOs after getting Boeing to promise a lower cost on what was originally a $4 billion price tag for a new Air Force One.
Trump criticized the $4 billion cost in a tweet on Dec. 6 when he wrote: “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 think it's ridiculous, I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number,” Trump told reporters that day, according to CNBC. “We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money."
Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Dec. 21, where they announced Boeing would lower the Air Force One cost, but details were scarce, reports Chicago Sun-Times.
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"We're going to get it done for less than that," Muilenburg said, according to the Washington Examiner. "I was able to give the president-elect my personal commitment on behalf of the Boeing Company. This is a business that's important to us. We work on Air Force One because it's important to our country and we're going to make sure that he gets the best capability and that it's done affordably."
Muilenburg added that he was not sure when the project would be completed or what the final cost would be.
"We have an active 747 production line and we're eager to get started on the program,” he said. “We haven't actually started the build of the airplane yet, but once we finalize the requirements and make sure that it's affordable we'll launch on building the aircraft. We've got a hot production line and we're ready to go."
Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, met with Trump after the meeting with Muilenburg to discuss lowering costs for military aircraft.
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"I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the importance of the F-35 program and the progress we've made in bringing the costs down," she said. "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."