Donald Trump took credit for military cost-cutting he had nothing to do with

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

President Donald Trump took credit for saving millions of dollars on an order of 90 F-35 fighter jets, telling the Associated Press he helped save "$725 million" on the purchase.

The problem is, Trump had nothing to do with those cost reductions. 

In fact, the money-saving agreement was struck by Pentagon officials and jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin prior to the presidential election.

"We went from a company that wanted more money for the planes to a company that cut. And the reason they cut — same planes, same everything — was because of me," Trump told the Associated Press, according to a transcript of the interview published Sunday. "I mean, because that's what I do."

Trump's $725 million figure has changed multiple times since he claims to have struck the deal. In January, the president pegged that number at $600 million, according to the Washington Post. In a Feb. 3 press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the figure was $455 million.

Prior to the announcement, the Washington Post's fact checker gave Trump "four Pinocchios" — the newspaper's biggest lie rating — for his cost-reduction claim.

"The Pentagon had already announced cost reductions of roughly $600 million before Trump began meeting with Lockheed Martin's chief executive," Michelle Ye Hee Lee wrote. "Once again, we award Trump Pinocchios for taking undue credit."

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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