By TIM RYAN
WASHINGTON (CN) – President-elect Donald Trump went after Boeing on Twitter Tuesday, promising to “cancel” the company’s contract to build a new Air Force One plane.
Trump claimed in the tweet the cost for the new plane had run “out of control,” pinning the new price at $4 billion. In a press briefing Tuesday morning Trump spokesman Jason Miller explained this number includes the price of constructing two Air Force One planes as well as the research and development costs associated with designing them.
Miller cast the call to “cancel the order” as an example of Trump’s goal of saving the government money when in office.
“The point the president-elect was making here was that the $4 billion price tag is a very big number,” Miller said. “I think taxpayers want to make sure that we’re seeing absolute accountability and that the government is doing the best to drive costs down. And so we’re going to look for those opportunities to do so in every stretch.”
When asked whether Trump still held stock in Boeing, Miller told reporters on the conference call that the president-elect sold the stocks he owned in June.
Trump told reporters at Trump Tower Tuesday morning he wants “Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” according to reports.
Boeing’s stock tumbled by more than a point from last night’s close before rebounding as the morning has gone on.
Trump’s jab at a major U.S. business comes on the heels of a string of tweets Trump fired off over the weekend detailing a plan to impose a 35 percent tariff on companies that moved jobs overseas. Republican lawmakers have been cool on the proposal, saying there are better ways to keep jobs in the country, such as lowering the corporate tax rate, according to the Associated Press.
“I think that’s a better way of solving the problems than getting into a trade war with a 35 percent tariff,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday, according to the AP. “We’ve got to have a level playing field, that companies in America can compete on a level playing field across the world, and right now we do not have one.”
In a statement released Tuesday Boeing disputed Trump’s claim about the cost of the contract.
“We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States,” the statement from Boeing reads. “We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.”