President Trump shared mock-ups of an Air Force One with a new paint scheme — featuring colors remarkably similar to those on his own private jet — in a television interview broadcast Thursday as Democratic lawmakers moved to impede such a change.
“Take a look at this,” Trump said to ABC News host George Stephanopoulos as he displayed some options for the makeover. “Here’s your new Air Force One.”
The mock-ups swap out the current sky blue and white for a color scheme that includes white, red and dark blue — in nearly identical shades that appear on the jet in which Trump used to fly around the country during his 2016 campaign. The colors are inverted on the Air Force One design, with the white on top and dark blue on bottom.
The shade of blue chosen by Trump appears darker than that specified for American flags. The exact shade was not known.
The interview with Trump, conducted in the Oval Office, was broadcast a day after a House committee voted to require congressional approval for changes to the Air Force One paint scheme and interior design. It’s unclear whether the provision will remain in the bill by the time it gets to Trump’s desk.
Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee voiced concerns about the potential cost of any changes and said they were hesitant to abandon a widely recognized design that emerged during the tenure of President John F. Kennedy.
Republicans said Democrats were taking a partisan shot at Trump.
A pair of heavily modified Boeing 747s that carry the moniker Air Force One when the president is on board have been in use since 1990. Trump negotiated a deal with Boeing for two new planes at a cost of $3.9 billion.
The Air Force has projected that the new planes will come online in 2024.
Trump shared his intention to change the color scheme in a July interview with CBS, in which he said the revamped aircraft would be “top of the line, the top in the world, and it’s going to be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”
“I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors.’ And we’re not,” Trump added.