- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

President Trump said Monday he’s already set the troubled F-35 jet program on firmer footing, just weeks after he attacked Lockheed Martin’s leadership of the program and invited Boeing to price out an alternative with its F-18.

Mr. Trump didn’t say what he’s done to get the massive program, which could cost taxpayers nearly a half-trillion dollars over its lifespan, back on track after years of missed deadlines and cost overruns.

But he did declare success, little more than a week into his tenure.

“We’ve ended all of that and we’ve got that program now in really, really good shape,” he said.

Mr. Trump made waves in December when he met with Lockheed’s CEO and emerged to say she’d engaged in a “dance” with him over the costs of the program. He then posted a message on Twitter saying he’d asked Boeing to offer a competing bid.

Later, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson met with Mr. Trump again and promised she’d get the program under control.

The Pentagon last week said it was conducting a review of the program, and Lockheed issued a statement saying it supported the scrutiny and said “there are opportunities to drive down program costs.”

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