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Donald Trump Is All About Retribution

December 7, 2016

Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to keep the existing Air Force One fleet flying into next decade unless Boeing reduces costs on replacement jets, and denied his broadside came after reading critical comments from the company’s CEO.

Trump set off a firestorm Tuesday morning when he — seemingly out of nowhere — tweeted that the cost of the replacement program would hit $4 billion. The social media post ended with two ominous words for Boeing: “Cancel order!”

He later made a rare appearance in the lobby of Trump Tower to tell reporters that “the plane is totally out of control,” adding that he thinks “Boeing is doing a little bit of a number — we want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”

Just over 24 hours later, Trump was asked about his criticism on NBC’s “Today Show.” The president-elect denied seeing a Chicago Tribune article posted Tuesday morning that contained comments from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg about the importance of free trade to his company’s overall business — he also noted that Boeing sells one of every three 737 airliners to China.

The Tribune article was posted at online at 7:30 a.m. Trump’s tweet went out at 8:52 A.M., as CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed.

On Wednesday, the president-elect denied, when pressed by “Today” co-host Matt Lauer, that his attack on the Air Force One replacement program was retaliation for Muilenburg’s pro-trade and friendly-with-China stances  But he did escalate his growing war with the Chicago-based defense and aerospace giant when he threatened again to cancel the new program and merely keep the 25-year-old existing Air Force jets in service unless Boeing reduces costs.

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