Grace PanettaFri, September 17, 2021, 1:11 PM·2 min readIn this article:
- Donald Trump45th President of the United States
- Joe Biden46th and current president of the United States
- Trump floated repainting his private plane to look like Air Force One, a new book says.
- The former president mused about flying around in a look-alike “as a way of taunting” Biden.
- Trump described Air Force One as “his brand,” saying, “I don’t do the corporate jet thing.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Former President Donald Trump floated the idea of repainting his private Boeing 757 plane to resemble Air Force One and fly it around the country “as a way of taunting” President Joe Biden, according to a new book.
The reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in their forthcoming book, “Peril,” that Trump raised the idea to his golfing friends on at least one occasion. Insider obtained a copy of the book ahead of its September 21 release.
“The American people love that plane,” Trump said after one golf session, according to the book. “I am thinking of getting it repainted red, white, and blue. Like Air Force One, the way I think Air Force One should look.”
Trump said the aesthetic of Air Force One was his “brand,” the authors write, quoting Trump as saying: “I don’t do the corporate jet thing. I’m not going to show up in a little Gulfstream like a fucking CEO.”
Trump pushed to get the real Air Force One a makeover in red, white, and blue when he was president, with the Pentagon’s February 2020 budget request for fiscal year 2021 including a proposed repainting of the plane.
The authors of “Peril” also say in the book that Trump was obsessed with the cost, design, and aesthetics of the USS Gerald R. Ford, a Naval aircraft carrier, and frequently lodged his complaints about it in meetings with top military officials, including Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The generals and admirals were horrible businessmen, Trump complained repeatedly, and particularly terrible at acquisition and deal-making on ships, ensuring the military was always being ripped off,” the book adds.
“I was in the construction business,” Trump told his military advisers in one meeting, according to the book, saying “I know about elevators” and how they can break “if water gets on them.”
Trump was particularly not a fan of the placement of the island, put toward the rear of the ship. Navy officials told Trump that the island was put toward the back to make it easier for pilots to land on it, the book says.
“It doesn’t look right. I have an eye for aesthetics,” Trump once told Milley, according to the book, before running his hands through his hair and joking, “Can’t you tell?”