Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | trump | meets | defense contractors | low | cost

Trump Meets With Defense Contractors to 'Get the Costs Down'

Image: Trump Meets With Defense Contractors to 'Get the Costs Down'

Donald Trump (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 06:04 PM

President-elect Donald Trump met with leaders of the nation's top military contractors, telling reporters afterward that his goal was to lower costs on the beleaguered F-35 Stealth bomber jet and a new Air Force One.

"We're trying to get the cost down," he said outside of his Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida. "It's a program that is very, very expensive."

When asked whether any reductions could lead to security concessions by the contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., Trump said: "We'll see. We'll see.

"Again, it's a dance. It's a little bit of a dance.

"We're going to get the costs down and we're going to get it done beautifully," Trump continued. "These are great people. Amazing people."

Trump's session included Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg.

The F-35 is being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marines.

Lockheed Martin has been developing the jet since 1996 — and the program has been widely slammed for being as much as "$163 billion over budget [and] seven years behind schedule," according to news reports.

Critics also charged that the F-35 is "too big to kill" by the Pentagon.

Regarding the Air Force One order, Trump said that his meeting with Boeing's Muilenburg also concerned reducing costs.

The contract was to be about $3 billion, but Trump has said that expenses have ballooned to as high at $4 billion.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence told CNN earlier this month that the higher figure was certified by the General Accounting Office.

"We're looking to cut a tremendous amount of money off the price," Trump told reporters.

Later Wednesday, Trump sent this tweet:

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President-elect Donald Trump met with leaders of the nation's top military contractors, telling reporters afterward that his goal was to lower costs on the beleaguered F-35 Stealth bomber jet and a new Air Force One.
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2016-04-21
Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 06:04 PM
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