The president confirmed the purchase on Tuesday in an interview with CBS News, with the contract sourced to Boeing. He stressed that the robin egg blue and white color scheme that has been in place since President John F. Kennedy will now be replaced with the United States' signature red, white and blue — paying homage to the U.S. flag.
"Air Force One is going to be incredible," he said. "It's going to 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."
The two planes will reportedly cost the government $3.9 billion, though the president claimed that he was able to save $1.5 billion in the negotiations. The planes will be designed custom for the commander-in-chief, and therefore won't be ready until December of 2024, experts estimate. This means that even if Trump is elected for a second term, he will only be able to use them for about a month before the next president is sworn in.
The existing Air Force One jets are now 30 years old. The White House has been working to replace them since 2011, according to a report by ABC News, but the Trump administration has just finalized the process. The president has taken a focused interest in Air Force One even since before he entered office. In 2016, about a month after he was elected, he tweeted about the contract negotiations.
"Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion," he wrote. "Cancel order!"
The successful contract was a small glint of good news for the embattled president, who is facing more and more scrutiny from all sides. As the investigation into possible Russian collusion heats up, the adjacent investigation into his alleged affairs with models and adult film stars does, too.
According to a report by CNN, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen may have secretly recorded a conversation they had about paying off a Playboy model for her silence. In response, the president posted a furious tweet.
"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of," he wrote. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!"
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
The recording concerns Karen McDougal, who claims she was contacted shortly before the election about keeping her silence. However, Cohen's office was raided back in April as FBI agents seized materials they believed would confirm the president's connection with Russian agents.
The president has repeatedly called the investigation into possible collusion — and Russian meddling in general — a "witch hunt." However, a report by the New York Times this week seemed to confirm that President Trump had been briefed about the cyberattack two weeks before his inauguration.