White House Told This Billion Dollar Lie Just To Pad Trump's Fragile Ego

White House Told This Billion Dollar Lie Just To Pad Trump’s Fragile Ego

Earlier this week, Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts broke a story touted as exclusive to Fox News. Here is the thing: Most things that exclusive to Fox News are not reported elsewhere because they are not true, and the other broadcasters have higher standards. Or, the other broadcasters pass on chest-thumping pieces spoon-fed by the White House Press Office because the other broadcasters are not the President’s tool as state propaganda purveyors. Call it a different perspective on Fox’s part, perhaps, but that difference in perspective should not extend to math. Roberts tweeted a huge win for President Trump over Boeing on the new Air Force One replacements, a savings of $1.4 billion, which would equal a 35% savings on the original cost. Here is what Mr. Roberts tweeted out:

Trump’s informal Boeing deal: voodoo economics, fuzzy math, & lies

First thing, what exactly is an informal deal? Either there is a deal, or there is not a deal? Either a contract has been signed, or negotiations are continuing? There is no such thing as an informal deal where the details are still being worked out. Actually, that is the opposite of a deal.


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Look at this president’s past business history when signed contracts were in place and the other party fully executed their obligations. Hundreds have sued Trump for shrugging his shoulders, refusing to pay, and saying, “Sue me” when it came time to settle-up. His history in the Oval Office has not been significantly different. Maybe the parties look at it this way: Trump’s signature on a contract is as worthless as his word or his handshake, so same-same? “Let’s call this a done deal.”

RELATED: GOP’s Tax Plan Enriching the Rich is the Return of ‘Voodoo Economics’

In December 2016, President-elect Trump tweeted:

Seemingly, it did not matter that there was no actual order for new planes, only a feasibility study in progress. Nor did it matter that Trump was not yet president and thus in no position to cancel anything on behalf of the federal government. What it did tell America though was how the Trump administration would govern after the inauguration. Days before Trump’s tweet, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was quoted in the Chicago Tribune expressing grave concerns about the president-elect’s resistance to trade, specifically Trump’s repeated criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump got his feelings hurt by criticism, and lashed out on Twitter, driving Boeing’s stock down 2%. Trump then claimed he had not even seen the critical article before tweeting.

RELATED: Boeing Stock Plummets After Trump ‘Fires’ Air Force One

Here is the math problem: In December 2016, Trump claimed the cost of the new Air Force One program was $4 billion. In August 2017, it was announced that a deal had been reached for Boeing to provide the Air Force with two 747-8’s which had been built for Russian airline Transaero (is there anything Trump-related that does not link to Russia somehow?) before the airline went bankrupt. The planes were never out of Boeing’s possession and were stored at an airfield in the Mojave desert.  An article at the time stated:

“Officially, the cost a new 747-8 is just under $390 million, though in this case the price of buying the planes themselves is likely to be much lower.”

RELATED: Trump’s Mile High Meltdown: Russian News Sets Him Off on Air Force One

So, the original estimate was $4 billion. The new estimate (though just an informal deal, remember) is $3.9 billion. The original deal was for brand new planes, custom-built and right off the assembly lines. The new deal is for two unused planes, built years ago which have been gathering dust in the desert for years. Seems like the discount should have been more than 2.5% if there were going to be bragging involved? If you went to a dealer looking to buy a $30,000 new car, would you take a still-undriven 2016 leftover instead of a brand-new 2018 just because the dealer knocked off $750? And then brag about your negotiating skills? That is the discount here.

How exactly did the savings come to $1.4 billion when the math says $100 million?  John Roberts was asked just that.

Seems the official position is that Trump was “given bad information” when he claimed a $4 billion price tag. The real cost was always going to be $5.3 billion. So now that the cost has been worked down to $3.9 billion, the White House could not help but brag. Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News:

“President Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing on a fixed price contract for the air force one program. Thanks to the president’s negotiations the contract will save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion.” 

That, or Trump lied, then went back and adjusted the math so he looked like a master negotiator when he really got played for a patsy? I guess which version you hear as truth will depend on whether you are watching Fox News or getting the facts from more trustworthy sources.

Featured image photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.

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Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.

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