Donald Trump has announced he wants to cut government costs by cancelling the order for new planes to carry the American president.
Six weeks ahead of taking office, the president-elect tweeted: “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!”
The government has a contract with Boeing to build two or more new planes.
They would enter service around 2024.
Boeing shares fell more than 1% after Donald Trump’s tweet, but recovered most of their losses in afternoon trading.
Donald Trump would not fly on the new planes unless he won a second term in the 2020 election.
He also announced on December 6 that Japan’s SoftBank has agreed to invest $50 billion in the US aimed at creating 50,000 new jobs.
Image source Wikimedia
Donald Trump revealed the plan after meeting with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower.
The president-elect tweeted: “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”
Donald Trump now uses his own plane, but as president he would travel aboard Air Force One, which is equipped with special safety, defensive and communications equipment.
The real estate mogul is known for his admiration of his Trump-branded Boeing 757 jet, boasting to Rolling Stone in 2015 that his aircraft was “bigger than Air Force One, which is a step down from this in every way”.
“Did you know it was featured on the Discovery Channel as the world’s most luxurious jetliner?” Donald Trump said at the time.
He told reporters on December 6 at Trump Tower in New York that Boeing was “doing a little bit of a number” and the cost was “ridiculous”.
“We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” Donald Trump added.
The US Air Force released a statement saying it had budgeted $2.7 billion for the project, “but expects this number to change as the program matures with the completion of the risk reduction activities”.
The White House said it was not clear where Donald Trump got the $4 billion figure he cited to replace the Air Force One plane.
Spokesman Josh Earnest said: “Some of the statistics that have been cited, shall we say, don’t appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense.”
The Government Accountability Office estimates that the project’s overall cost will be $3.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise.
Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher, in a statement, said: “We are currently under contract for $170m 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 US Air Force on subsequent phases of the programme, allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.”
Barack Obama wasted little time on Wednesday as he headed back to Washington hours after celebrating his election victory in Chicago and securing a second term in the White House.
Fresh challenges lie ahead for the president as the stock market tumbled in response to his triumph at the polls over Mitt Romney and sabre-rattling from Republicans who demanded that he make good on his promise to work with both sides of the political aisle in the next four years.
Barack Obama was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and their children Malia and Sasha as they departed the Windy City on Air Force One. They arrived in Washington at about 6:30 p.m. and returned to White House which has been their home for the last four years – and where they will remain for the next four.
Tuesday night, Barack Obama called for unity and set out an optimistic vision of America’s future this morning in a rousing acceptance speech.
He promised “the best is yet to come” and said the fierce battle with Mitt Romney had made him a better president, vowing: “I will return to the White House more determined and inspired than ever.”
In a speech that saw a return to the soaring rhetoric he has become known for since his election in 2008, Barack Obama said he had “listened and learned’ from the American people during his campaign.
With his voice going hoarse at times, he said that “progress comes in fits and starts” and the road is littered with “difficult compromises”. But he said he enters the next four years with an “economy recovering, a decade of war ending and a long campaign is over”.
Barack Obama wasted little time on Wednesday as he headed back to Washington hours after celebrating his election victory in Chicago and securing a second term in the White House
Barack Obama paid tribute to his opponent and hopes they can “work together in the coming weeks”.
The GOP has indicated that they will hold him to it.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was frosty in his post-election remarks.
“The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term,” Mitch McConnell said.
“Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner added speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning: “Mr. President, this is your moment. We want you to lead… Let’s find the common ground that has eluded us.”
A package of huge tax hikes and spending cuts – known as the “fiscal cliff” – is scheduled to take effect in the new year if the parties cannot come to a compromise.
So far, Republicans have adamantly refused to raise taxes, even on America’s richest people, as part of a deficit-reduction package. Barack Obama and other Democrats maintain that such tax hikes must be part of the deal.
The president’s administration is optimistic about an agreement.
Vice President Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he and Barack Obama are anxious to move forward on a bipartisan solution to the “fiscal cliff”, but a compromise will hinge on Republicans.
“What is the takeaway going to be on the part of our Republican colleagues? What judgment are they going to make?” Joe Biden told reporters on Air Force Two, as he flew from Chicago, where he watched election returns Tuesday night, to his home in Delaware.
“I know it takes a little time to kind of digest what’s going on. But I think people know we’ve got to get down to work and I think they’re ready to move,” Joe Biden said.
Joe Biden said he believes there are at least six Republican senators who are prepared to compromise on fiscal issues, adding that Democrats “are going to have to compromise too. It’s not like we’re going to go in and say: <<This is our deal. Take it or leave it>>.”
Another challenge for Barack Obama lies in the stock market, as the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 200 points within minutes after the opening bell and it continued falling, down 354 points two hours later.
In late afternoon trading, it was down 323 points, or 2.5%, while index futures also plunged after the European Union slashed its growth forecast for next year.
A privately-owned Cessna aircraft was intercepted by two fighter jets yesterday entering the same Los Angeles airspace as Marine One while the helicopter was ferrying President Barack Obama.
After the small plane landed at Long Beach Airport, police then discovered it contained about 40 pounds of marijuana, a law enforcement official said.
The Secret Service said President Obama was never in any danger, despite the emergency procedure to remove the unauthorized aircraft from “restricted airspace”.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said it scrambled two F-16 fighters from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California, to intercept a Cessna 182 over Los Angeles at 2:30 p.m. local time.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Virginia Kice said the department’s Homeland Security Investigations unit questioned the pilot, who has been turned over to Long Beach police and remains in custody.
The pilot will now face local prosecution, Virginia Kice said.
The Secret Service said President Obama was never in any danger, despite the emergency procedure to remove the unauthorized aircraft from “restricted airspace”
NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek declined to disclose how close the Cessna came to Marine One.
The Federal Aviation Administration had notified pilots that there was an eight-mile radius around Los Angeles International Airport that was off-limits to air traffic yesterday.
It was that radius that the Cessna violated, spokesman Brie Sachse said.
Brie Sachse declined to release the Cessna’s tail number, saying the agency does not identify planes involved in security incidents.
After a short wait at LAX, Barack Obama took off aboard Air Force One to San Francisco – the flight was delayed by the appearance of the Cessna.
Barack Obama made it safely to San Francisco, where he was travelling to three fundraisers.
When he landed he met Jodi Fisher, a 44-year-old cancer patient who recently made headlines by handing out free ice cream in her hometown, which was on her “bucket list”.
Meeting Barack Obama was also on the list, so White House staff arranged for her to greet him at San Francisco airport.
Air Force One is the name for any U.S. Air Force aircraft which is carrying the President.
Recordings of the conversations between Air Force One and the White House communications office immediately after President John F. Kennedy assassination were made public this week.
One of the calls was between a White House radio operator who had to inform the Secretary of State that the President had been killed and that there was a new leader of the United States.
Another one was recorded between Vicepresident Lyndon Johnson and JFK’s mother was made by on board Air Force One just minutes after he was sworn in. The call reveals how he and his wife Lady Bird tried to console the Kennedy matriarch who was on the ground.
“I wish to God there was something that I could do and I wanted to tell you that we were grieving with you,” LBJ is recorded saying to Rose Kennedy.
“Thanks a mill- thank you very much, thank you very much. I know, I know you loved Jack, and he loved you,” Rose Kennedy responded.
All calls made on presidential plane are put through by a White House switchboard operator, which has a system in place to automatically tape the calls.
Mrs. Johnson is also recorded on the tapes, which captured the activity on the flight from Dallas, Texas to Washington on November 22, 1963, though part of her comments are cut off my an interjection by Rose Kennedy.
“Mrs. Kennedy, we feel like we just had-“Mrs. Johnson said.
“Yes, alright,” Mrs. Kennedy interjected.
“We are glad that the nation had your son as long as it did,” Mrs. Johnson continued.
“Yes, well thank you, Lady Bird. Thank you very much, goodbye!” Rose Kennedy said quickly.
Recordings of the conversations between Air Force One and the White House communications office immediately after President John F. Kennedy assassination were made public this week
The Johnsons called Rose Kennedy at home at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, about 30 minutes after they took off from Dallas’ Love Field Airport.
While the conversation was extremely brief, the plane ride was a busy one as President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in just minutes before the flight took off.
In the air, LBJ was preparing the speech he was going to give once the plane landed just over two hours later.
Conspiracy theorists have been known to obsess over every detail surrounding the assassination of JFK, and are likely going to find fault with the fact that the 42 minutes of tape are only just being released now.
The tapes were found after the death of JFK’s top military aide Army General Chester “Ted” Clifton Jr., when his family found the recordings.
They sold his copy to a historical documents dealer, who then gave a copy to the National Archives.
Also included in the tapes is the moment when a White House operator tell the news to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who was on a flight headed to Japan with several other cabinet members at the time.
“Kennedy apparently shot in the head,” said the unidentified radio operator.
“He fell face down in back seat of his car, blood was on his head, Mrs. Kennedy cried <<Oh no>> and tried to hold up his head.”
Another frantic notification call was included on the newly-released tape, this time of a military aide trying to look for his superior, General Curtis LeMay, who was often at odds with JFK.
General Curtis LeMay’s assistant called the White House call center and wanted desperately to be connected to his boss.
“General LeMay is in a C 140. … He’s inbound. His code name is Grandson. And I wanna talk to him. … If you can’t work him now, it’s gonna be too late, because he’ll be on the ground in a half-hour,” the aide said.
The urgency in the aide’s call will likely prompt some sinister speculation, though it is also easy to assume that he simply wanted to get the news of the assassination to his boss quickly.
The tapes confirm that, like Secretary of State Dean Rusk and several other cabinet members, Curtis LeMay was on various flights at the time.
The tapes of the calls from Air Force One come shortly after the Kennedy Library released some of the recordings from JFK’s last days in office.
While speaking to an aide three days before his death, then-President John F. Kennedy unknowingly refers to the day which would end up being his funeral as “a tough day”.
The conversation arises while his aides are attempting to sort out his schedule, which was expected to be very busy when he returned from his Dallas trip.
One of the meetings they were trying to schedule was with General Nasution of Indonesia.
“I will see him, when is here here? Monday?,” JFK says.
A staffer responds: “Monday and Tuesday.”
“Well that’s a tough day,” JFK remarks.
“It’s a hell of a day Mr. President. He’ll be coming back here though, I understand on Friday because I offered to entertain at dinner.”
The tapes also revealed JFK’s thoughts on the nearing 1964 election, a tender moment with his children, and conflicting reports about the ongoing operation in Vietnam.