If you have not figured it out yet Donald Trump does not operate like a traditional politician. We are learning that back in January, before he took office Trump called Air Force Lt. General Bogdan, the F-35 Joint Program Office Executive Officer to discuss the aircraft. We all heard about the news that Trump was tweeting criticizing the F-35 program as being too expensive and out of control.
It made sense that he was making phone calls to people in charge of the program like General Bogdan but who would have guessed he would actually have Dennis Muilenburg the CEO of Boeing (a competitor that makes the F-18 Hornet) listening in on the call. And that the Boeing CEO was sitting in the room with Trump when he made the phone call.
“I would consider the calls to be very straightforward. He asked a lot of very, very, very good questions because he was in the learning mode,” Bogdan said of Trump. Speaking to reporters Thursday after a congressional hearing on the F-35, Bogdan said that Muilenburg listening to the call “was not inappropriate. The things I talked about in front of Mr. Muilenburg were clearly publicly releasable information. I understand the rules.”
After speaking with Trump, Bogdan wrote two three-page memos, titled “phone conversations with President-Elect,” dated Jan. 10 and 18th and stamped “For Official Use Only,” to limit distribution, according to the people. The memos outlined Trump’s questions about the capabilities of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter and how it might compete against Lockheed’s F-35C. – Bloomberg Politics
President Trump has shaken the defense industry to their core. He has publicly criticized several of the leading defense contractors over high costs and delays while at the same time forcing them to compete with each other to lower costs. This exactly what you would expect from a real estate developer used to seeking out multiple bids on a project.
Do you think this type of approach will work for the good of the American taxpayer and result in a better military at a lower cost? Comment below. As always we want to hear from you!
Featured image of Air Force Lt General Bogdan by AFP/Getty Images