On Thursday, the president revealed mockups of a proposed new design for the presidential jet, showing a new red-white-and-blue color scheme that features a darker blue base color instead of the lighter “sky blue” that has been used on the plane since the Kennedy administration.
In approving the plan, Trump reportedly said he wanted the plane to look “more American,” rather than be painted in a “Jackie Kennedy color.”
“I think it’s going to look much better, actually,” Trump said Friday morning on Fox & Friends. “I like the concept of red, white and blue.
“The baby blue doesn’t fit with us,” Trump added.
The proposed redesign comes as part of a contract with Boeing to build two new Air Force One jets to replace the current models, which are more than 30 years old. Trump reached a deal with Boeing to buy the jets for $3.9 billion – after negotiating a $1.4 billion reduction from the original estimate.
But one day earlier, a Connecticut Democrat introduced an amendment to a Pentagon spending plan that calls for congressional approval for spending on “interior, paint and fixtures.”
The Democrat-controlled House Armed Services Committee adopted Rep. Joe Courtney’s amendment on a 31-26 vote that went along party lines, the Hartford Courant reported.
Courtney told the newspaper why he introduced the amendment.
“Additional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside the plane can also add cost and delays to the delivery of the plane,” Courtney said.
But the Democrat insisted he had no intention of blocking the president’s plan.
“We are not handcuffing the Air Force and Boeing,” he said. There is some flexibility.”
Another Democrat, Rep. John Garamendi of California, told the newspaper that the U.S. should be careful before changing the appearance of a plane that he said is symbolic of American leadership around the globe.
“The Air Force One plane is iconic,” Garamendi told the Courant. “It is known throughout the world. It has been the representation of the United States, the power of the president.”
Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., noted that because the new planes aren’t scheduled to be delivered until 2024, the amendment shouldn’t be interpreted as a slight directed toward the president.
“This president is not going to fly on these planes,” Smith said, according to Military Times.
But to some Republicans on the committee, the Democrats’ explanations sounded more like an effort to simply obstruct the president.
“They want to impede the president at every turn,” Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., told the Courant.
The broader spending bill still requires passage from both the House and Senate, as well as the president’s signature, before any new planes will be ordered, the Times reported.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this story.