Donald Trump has announced he wants to cut government costs by cancelling the order for new planes to carry the American president.
Six weeks ahead of taking office, the president-elect tweeted: “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!”
The government has a contract with Boeing to build two or more new planes.
They would enter service around 2024.
Boeing shares fell more than 1% after Donald Trump’s tweet, but recovered most of their losses in afternoon trading.
Donald Trump would not fly on the new planes unless he won a second term in the 2020 election.
He also announced on December 6 that Japan’s SoftBank has agreed to invest $50 billion in the US aimed at creating 50,000 new jobs.
Donald Trump revealed the plan after meeting with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower.
The president-elect tweeted: “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”
Donald Trump now uses his own plane, but as president he would travel aboard Air Force One, which is equipped with special safety, defensive and communications equipment.
The real estate mogul is known for his admiration of his Trump-branded Boeing 757 jet, boasting to Rolling Stone in 2015 that his aircraft was “bigger than Air Force One, which is a step down from this in every way”.
“Did you know it was featured on the Discovery Channel as the world’s most luxurious jetliner?” Donald Trump said at the time.
He told reporters on December 6 at Trump Tower in New York that Boeing was “doing a little bit of a number” and the cost was “ridiculous”.
“We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” Donald Trump added.
The US Air Force released a statement saying it had budgeted $2.7 billion for the project, “but expects this number to change as the program matures with the completion of the risk reduction activities”.
The White House said it was not clear where Donald Trump got the $4 billion figure he cited to replace the Air Force One plane.
Spokesman Josh Earnest said: “Some of the statistics that have been cited, shall we say, don’t appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense.”
The Government Accountability Office estimates that the project’s overall cost will be $3.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise.
Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher, in a statement, said: “We are currently under contract for $170m to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States.
“We look forward to working with the US Air Force on subsequent phases of the programme, allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.”