President Trump has ordered up a bold new paint job for Air Force One.
In an interview with CBS News, Trump said that two new replacements of the presidential jet due to be unveiled in several years will be painted red, white and blue, in a departure from the plane’s current light blue color scheme.
“I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not. You know what colors we’re using? Take a guess,” Trump told CBS’s Jeff Glor. “Red, white and blue.”
Trump made the comments in an interview that was taped in Scotland last weekend and aired Tuesday.
He added that the remodeled plane is going to be “incredible” and “the top in the world” — but that he likely won’t get the chance to fly in it himself as president, or, at least, not for long.
The new Air Force One “will be largely for future presidents, because by the time it gets built — I hate to say this — it’s going to be a long time; it’s a very complex project,” Trump said.
The Air Force on Tuesday awarded a contract to Boeing for the two new airplanes at a total cost of $3.9 billion, the White House confirmed in a statement Wednesday.
The news follows a preliminary deal announced by the White House in February after months of negotiation with Boeing.
The new planes are scheduled to be delivered by 2024, the White House said Wednesday, meaning that Trump would still have the chance to ride them as president if he won a second term.
Trump had earlier pushed for the delivery date to be pushed up to 2021, two officials with knowledge of the program told The Post in February.
The White House has previously claimed that Trump’s tough talk with Boeing on the cost of the planes had saved taxpayers more than $1.4 billion. In the CBS interview, Trump expanded on that claim, saying that he “was able to save $1.5 billion.”
But in 2016, Trump claimed that the initial price tag for the new planes was roughly $4 billion, a figure that he decried as “ridiculous” at the time. The Air Force had also begun working to bring down the cost years before Trump set his sights on Boeing.
The current plane, a modified Boeing 747, made its debut in 1990. Technically speaking, any Air Force plane the president is traveling on gains the call sign Air Force One for the duration of the commander in chief’s travel. Similarly, the Marine helicopter often seen on the South Lawn of the White House is designated Marine One when the president is aboard.
Trump told CBS that after nearly three decades, the plane was long overdue for an upgrade.
“Air Force One is 30 years old,” Trump said. “And it shouldn’t be.”
Christian Davenport and Paul Sonne contributed to this report.