At first glance, it seemed like Donald Trump was making sense. I know: that sentence itself doesn’t make much sense.
But hear me out!
He has tweeted – all good President’s use social media, right – about the outlandish costs of the new Air Force One plane.
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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
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $US4 billion. Cancel order!” he raged.
Hmm, I thought. If that’s true, then good for him for calling out this giant waste of money – I mean, what is the plane made of, gold? The President is just one man and doesn’t need a $4 billion plane to shepherd him between peace talks and political meetings, no matter how big his posse is.
The only problem is that Trump got his facts and figures wrong. What a surprise.
Boeing issued a statement confirming that they are “currently under contract for $US170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States”.
The White House also confirmed that it had no idea where Trump got his figure of $4 billion from.
So to be clear: it’s not costing $4 billion. It’s only costing $170 million. Less than 2 per cent of the figure Trump quoted. There’s been no retraction or acknowledgement of his mistake on his official Twitter account, so who knows whether the incoming President is aware of (or agrees with) the facts of the matter.
This would all be a little bit funny, if it didn’t have actual real world consequences.
Like, oh, I don’t know – the fact that the price of Boeing stock dipped after his comments.
If this is the impact after a throwaway tweet, can you imagine what’s going to happen when he and his cronies – like Michael Flynn, who once retweeted accusations that Hillary Clinton was involved with child sex trafficking and has secretly waged war on the Catholic Church – take power?
This is the new leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to be a wild ride.