Only days after Donald Trump criticized Boeing for what he considered to be out of control costs on the new Air Force One they were contracted to build, the company has announced they are donating $1 million to his upcoming presidential inauguration ceremony.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that the $4 billion price tag on Boeing’s Air Force One was unacceptable and “out of control”. The plane isn’t expected to be finished until more than 8 years from now, after Trump’s possible two terms in office, so it would be only be utilized by future presidents.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
USA Today reports that not only has Boeing been in contact with Trump, promising to “rein in costs”, but they have also committed to donating $1 million to his inauguration event.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on Boeing isn’t keeping the aircraft builder from writing a big check to back his inaugural festivities.
The company already had committed $1 million to help underwrite inaugural events when Trump took aim at the manufacturer this week, according to a Boeing official familiar with the planning, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the discussions.
The donation matches the amount Boeing gave to President Obama’s 2013 inauguration, Federal Election Commission records show
In a statement, Boeing countered that its current deal with the Air Force is for $170 million in design work. But the Defense Department has indicated it could spend nearly $3 billion over five years to design and develop replacements for the pair of jets that serve as Air Force One. And defense experts say a $4 billion total price-tag is a reasonable estimate of total costs.
By the end of the day Tuesday, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenberg had spoken with Trump and had promised to work with the new administration to rein in costs, Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe told The Washington Post this week.
In an interview Wednesday on NBC, Trump called Muilenberg a “very good man” and said, “we’re going to work it out.”
When asked about donations to inaugural activities, Johndroe said in an email to USA TODAY: “We are pleased to continue our tradition of supporting presidential inaugurations.
I’ve noticed a trend that after someone Trump has criticized ends up actually speaking to or meeting with the president-elect, they tend to come away with a very positive outlook on their experience with him. Art of the deal at work, in which Trump publicly criticizes government spending and the costs of Boeing’s Air Force One, opening up the door to negotiate a lower cost?
Although it is stated that Boeing traditional donates this money to presidential inaugurations, also making the same contribution to Obama’s event, this gesture is particularly impactful given the company’s close ties to Hillary Clinton. In the past they have donated over $1 million to the Clinton foundation, and oddly enough have received favorable business dealings after those contributions.
Something tells me that the only way Boeing will benefit from interactions under a Trump administration is to curtail their costs, and be careful to no longer overcharge the American taxpayer by taking advantage of out of control government spending.