Did the White House just jack up the initial Boeing price tag on Air Force One repairs so Trump could pretend to win a deal?
President Donald Trump exits Air Force One at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., March 20, 2017. Trump was in Louisville to attend a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

The White House announced a deal with Boeing for the two Air Force One planes the company was developing for the U.S. government. When President Donald Trump was first elected he noted the price tag was far too high and he would negotiate the cost down because the government shouldn't be forced to pay that.


However, there seem to be some discrepancies about what exactly Trump saved the American tax payer. Defense and national security website Defense One reported the final rounds of negotiations last week. In their report they said that the estimated cost of the planes was $4 billion, but that Trump was trying to get the cost down.

Trump also tweeted about the cost of the planes using the $4 billion figure.

Even Trump himself used the $4 billion figure during the transition, saying it would be more $4 billion, but he did not exactly cite $5 billion.

It is unclear if Trump meant $4.1 billion or $4.9 billion, but fact checkers found the specifics of what was proposed to the Air Force.

According to an Air Force budgetary document, research, development, testing and evaluation of the new Air Force Ones will cost $2.87 billion between fiscal years 2015 and 2021. However, as with most projects, it is anticipated the project will extend beyond 2021, requiring another $1 billion each year that it takes to finish. The Teal Group told PolitiFact that the project would likely require an additional $858 million when all is said and done.

But when the White House announced the deal that Trump negotiated, suddenly the cost ballooned to $5 billion, with Trump's negotiated price at $3.9 billion. In an exclusive report from Fox News, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley announced the president suddenly saved the taxpayers $1.4 billion. However, the final price tag is $3.9 billion. If the estimations were only $4 billion, the Trump's deal didn't actually save what was stated.

“President Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing on a fixed price contract for the new Air Force One Program. Thanks to the president’s negotiations, the contract will save the taxpayers more than $1.4 billion," Gidley said.

It's unclear how Trump managed to negotiate the price of the planes up to $5 billion so that he could then save Americans $1.4 billion. If the final price was $4 billion, that would mean Trump only saved tax payers $100 million.

According to Fox, the original projected price started at $3 billion, and costs kept increasing as requirements were added.

A White House official with knowledge of the program told Fox News Tuesday the cost would have been over $5 billion, though it never clarified how the cost increased so much throughout the year Trump was negotiating with Boeing. Instead, the aide said Trump was "given bad information" when he and the rest of the country reported the cost was $4 billion.

It's unclear how the so-called "bad information" also made its way into official government budget documents.