‘I am thinking of getting it repainted red, white, and blue’
Former President Donald Trump considered repainting his own Boeing 757 to resemble his proposed design for the Air Force’s new presidential aircraft, a new book by Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reveals.
In their forthcoming book, Peril, Messrs Woodward and Costa report that Mr Trump considered repainting his 30-year-old airliner in the red, white, and blue livery he wanted the Air Force to use on the modified 747-800 aircraft it is purchasing for use as a presidential transport, in part as a way to taunt President Joe Biden.
“I am thinking of getting it repainted red, white, and blue. Like Air Force One, the way I think Air Force One should look,” Mr Trump said, according to a copy of the book obtained by The Independent ahead of its 21 September release date.
The former president’s plan to replace the iconic light blue and white livery adopted in the 1960s by then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with a design which many observers noted was inspired by the look of his failed Trump Shuttle airline venture was controversial, and a number of Democratic lawmakers attempted to block the Air Force from using his design on the new aircraft, which were purchased from Boeing during Mr Trump’s presidency and are currently undergoing modifications for use in the Air Force’s VIP fleet.
During his 2016 White House run, his black, red and gold plane was often used as the backdrop for campaign rallies held at airports, and he used the Air Force’s VIP aircraft in the same manner during his failed re-election campaign.
In May, the twice-impeached ex-president said in a statement that his jet was undergoing extensive repairs and upgrades after sitting idle at a New York-area airport for most of his time in office.
“It is now being fully restored and updated and will be put back into service sometime prior to the end of the year. It will soon be brought to a Louisiana service facility for the completion of work, inspection and updating of Rolls-Royce engines, and a brand new paint job,” Mr Trump said, adding that the aircraft “will be better than ever, and again used at upcoming rallies!”
Since leaving office, the former president has relied on a much smaller plane, a Cessna Citation X, for his air travel needs. But according to Messrs Woodward and Costa, the former president is investing millions of dollars into rehabilitating his decades-old airliner because he feels that the look of Air Force One (or at least his vision of what Air Force One should look like) has become part of his “brand”.
“I don’t do the corporate jet thing,” Mr Trump reportedly said. “I’m not going to show up in a little Gulfstream like a f***ing CEO”.