President Donald Trump's first budget calls for an additional $54 billion for the military, but he said Tuesday it could "be actually $30 billion more than that."
"We are going to upgrade our military very substantially," the president said in an exclusive interview with Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "I also am going to get involved in negotiating. We have many planes, and boats, and ships that we're spending too much money individually on. We are going to be able to get, I think, a lot more product for our buck."
Trump pointed out the United States saved "$700 million-plus" on an F-35 after he got involved, and "Lockheed was terrific."
"We saved a lot of money on airplanes and that number is going to increase very substantially as we keep going," Trump said. "We will be having the greatest military that we ever had by the time I finish."
The money will come from a "revved-up economy," said Trump, noting as for now, there is a gross daily product average "of a little more than one percent. If I can get that up to three, maybe more, we have a whole different ballgame, and that's what we're looking to do."
Trump said the United States will also be asking other countries for a form of reimbursement for helping them, "even militarily."
"We have countries where we are taking care of their military," Trump said. "We are not being reimbursed, and they are wealthy countries. We have a lot of things happening but we are going to get the numbers way up and get jobs back in our country. You see what I have done. Ford has announced, General Motors. Fiat. They are all coming back into the United States."
Trump will make his first appearance before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, in what would be his State of the Union address if not in his first year in office. He told the program that all he can do is say what he wants to do and he will speak from the heart.
"We have a really terrific, I believe, healthcare plan coming out," said Trump. "We have to understand Obamacare has been a disaster. It's way out of control. It doesn't work. We're coming out with a healthcare plan that I think will be terrific. It will be very inclusive.
"And I think it's going to do really what people are wanting it to do. I will be talking about that. I will be talking about the military. I will be talking about the border. Remember this on the border and throughout our country, we're getting the bad ones out. The bad people, gang members, drug lords, in some cases murderers."
Healthcare reform is also another vital issue, Trump said, and although Congress is taking a great deal of blame "it's not their fault."
"Don't forget I have only been here four weeks," Trump said. "We're set to propose a plan. And I will be talking about it as you know tonight. But we're all set to do a plan. And I think it's going to be something that's going to be really respected."
Trump also discussed why he will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and how it was one of the "great misconceptions" he was offended five years ago by President Barack Obama's speech at the event targeting him.
"I love that evening," he said. "Can I be honest? I had the greatest time . . . I thought he did a good job, and he was very respectful. It was fun."
He told the press he thought the event was fantastic, and the next day, he read he had felt terrible, but he said he had a great time.
"If I take a hit, I won't give you any additional ammunition," Trump said. "Over the years, you make a mistake, I fully understand when they hit you. But when they make stories up, when they create sources because of I believe that sometimes they don't have sources. You know, the sources don't exist. And sometimes they do exist. I'm not saying all sources. But I believe a lot of the sources are made up."
The media, though, has been using stories coming from a great number of leaks, but he would have gone after leakers differently than White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who examined the phones of his staff, did.
"I would have gone one on one with different people," Trump said. "We don't have a major leak process here. We have major leak process in government. I would have handled it differently than Sean, but Sean handles it his way, and I'm okay with it."
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