This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's transition and the outgoing Obama administration:
- Sanctions against Russia are part of sweeping punishments announced by Obama administration
- Trump claims credit for Sprint and OneWeb job announcements
- John Kerry defends Obama's support for Israel, calls for resumption of Mideast talks
- The Times assesses Kerry's legacy
- Obama and Japan's Shinzo Abe tour memorial of Pearl Harbor attack
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After Donald Trump scolded Boeing earlier this month for the escalating cost of building a new Air Force One, the company's CEO projected confidence that Trump wouldn't be following through with his threat to "cancel order!"
The two men met together at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Wednesday. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said they spoke about a range of issues. The Air Force One project, which Trump complained would cost taxpayers more than $4 billion, invariably arose.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” Muilenberg said. The company had previously noted that the project did not yet have a firm price tag.
"I was able to give the president-elect my personal commitment on behalf of the Boeing Company. This is a business that’s important to us. We work on Air Force One because it’s important to our country, and we’re going to make sure that he gets the best capability and that it’s done affordably,” Muilenberg added.
He called the conversation “terrific” and Trump “a good man” who is “doing the right thing.”
The presidential aircraft remains a long way from takeoff — a new plane won't be ready for use in the next four years. Even if Trump is reelected, he might not get to use the plane, as the earliest projected date for completion is 2024.
Boeing is currently doing early development work on the plane — a modified 747 — that will likely be outfitted with such gadgetry as top-secret communications equipment, countermeasures to foil missile attacks, and aerial refueling capability that would enable it to remain airborne for days at a time if necessary.
The timing of delivery was among the topics that came up at Trump's meeting with the Boeing CEO.
“That’s what we’re going to work on together,” Muilenberg said. “We have an active 747 production line, and we’re eager to get started on the program. We haven’t actually started the build of the airplane yet, but once we finalize the requirements and make sure that it’s affordable, we’ll launch on building the aircraft. We’ve got a hot production line and we’re ready to go.”
The government actually has two planes outfitted to serve as Air Force One, which is the designation given to whichever plane is carrying the president. The current planes, which were put into service during the Reagan administration, are nearing the end of their design life.