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Chillin' with Trump: $24 million of your taxpayer dollars at work


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What hums, flies above 30,000 feet, and costs about as much as Donald Trump’s upstate New York manor?


Trump’s new airplane refrigerators.


The Trump administration has signed a $24 million contract with Boeing to replace two food chilling systems aboard Air Force One, according to reports.


The systems are two of five such "chillers" aboard Air Force One, which must be equipped with a refrigeration capacity to handle 3,000 meals, according to military specifications.


That’s enough to feed the president and 50 of his closest friends three meals a day for three weeks. (Why?) And that’s assuming the president never indulged in his favorite plane fare: fast food.


The $24 million price tag, upon which Boeing declined to comment, amounts to enough taxpayer money to fund an estimated eight weekends for the president at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump visited 11 times in his first year as president.


Or the cash could be used to provide security at Trump Tower in New York City, where the president no longer lives, for about two months.


As president-elect, Trump trashed Boeing’s stock by attacking on Twitter the high-priced Air Force One program. “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion,” Trump tweeted. “Cancel order!”


It’s not clear where Trump got the $4 billion figure; at the time Boeing had a $170 million contract to begin work on the next Air Force One.


The list price for the 747 airplanes outfitted as Air Force One is about $350 million, but customizing the planes costs much more.


--Tom McCarthy, The Guardian, January 27, 2018

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