In a piece published Sunday, Slate's Julia Turner predicted that Donald Trump's presidency will be a series of dubious PR stunts that make headlines but have little actual impact on Americans' lives. This prediction seemed to have proved immediately correct when Trump tweeted this morning that Boeing is wasting $4 billion building a new Air Force One:
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 soon disputed the claim:
LOL, typical Trump, right? Not this time, friends! Here's Todd Harrison of the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies:
While it may be true that Boeing's current contract is for $170 million, what Harrison is saying is that the Pentagon (in publicly available documents) has budgeted $4 billion in total spending through 2021 to buy two new Air Force Ones from the company.
So, aside from referring to a single "Air Force One"—which everyone else does too even though there are already actually two such planes—you might say that Trump was ... right?!?!?!?!? I mean, it's subject to interpretation whether $4 billion is too much, but it's certainly a lot, and is the correct figure.
Also, is this the biggest day of Todd Harrison's professional life, or what?