Trump tweet pits Boeing, Lockheed against each other

Trump tweet pits Boeing, Lockheed against each other
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE tweeted about Boeing and Lockheed Martin Thursday, seemingly framing the two defense contractors as being in a competition over jet fighter costs.

The F-18 is an older model and does not have the same stealth capabilities as the F-35, according to Reuters.

Trump met separately with Boeing's and Lockheed’s CEOs Wednesday, vowing he would cut the cost of government contracts involving both companies.

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The president-elect took aim at the Air Force's F-35 program, criticizing its deal with Lockheed Martin as too costly under present circumstances.

“It’s a program that’s very, very expensive,” he told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

“It’s a dance. It’s a little bit of a dance, but we’re gonna get the cost down, and we’re gonna get it down beautifully. I think we’re looking to cut a tremendous amount of money.”

Trump’s remarks followed his meeting with Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson, who called their discussion “productive.”

“The F-35 is a critical program to our national security and I conveyed our continuing commitment delivering an affordable aircraft to our U.S. military and our allies,” she added in a statement to Time.

Trump last week blasted Lockheed’s F-35 program and its cost as “out of control,” adding “billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases” following his Jan. 20 inauguration.

The head of F-35 Joint Program Office, however, flatly rejected Trump’s assessment of the project Tuesday.

“This program is not out of control,” Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan told Business Insider. "Since 2011 we basically have been on schedule, since 2011 we basically have been on budget, we are delivering now today 50-plus airplanes a year that when in the hands of the warfighter makes a huge, huge difference.”

The F-35 has been dogged by problems, Reuters reported, and its cost is now estimated to be about $379 billion.

Trump also met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Wednesday after deriding the price of its Air Force One project earlier this month.

“I think so,” Muilenburg responded after meeting Trump when asked if their conversation would lead to a cost decrease.

“We’re going to make sure that he gets the best capability and that it’s done affordably,” he added of Air Force One during an earlier huddle with reporters.

Lockheed's stock fell 2 percent, while Boeing's rose 0.7 percent following Trump's tweet.