- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Boeing announced Tuesday a $3.9 billion deal to build the next generation of Air Force One planes, saying President Trump “negotiated a good deal” for taxpayers.

“Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers,” the company said on Twitter.

A White House spokesman said the “informal” contract will save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion.

Boeing said the agreement covers two aircraft, including a communications suite, internal and external stairs, large galleys and other equipment unique to the presidential aircraft. The deal was first reported by Fox News; Defense One reported last week that Mr. Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg at the White House in the final stages of negotiating.

Mr. Trump has been pushing for a new deal since late 2016, when he said the project’s costs were “out of control” and threatened to cancel the order.

At the time, Mr. Trump complained that the price of the two planes was rising above $4 billion. The White House is saying now that the total costs would have been more than $5 billion.

The current set of presidential planes has been in use since the Reagan administration.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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