Donald Trump had his media plans for the Tuesday spoiled by both Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake.
Naturally, Trump took to Twitter to go after Corker Tuesday while also trumping up some facts about that ‘huge’ Boeing deal he’s been talking up. Below are the facts vs the Trumpian myths.
President Donald Trump is showcasing a major contract landed by Boeing from Singapore Airlines and talking about the 70,000 or so U.S. jobs that he says will flow from that order. It’s indeed a big deal for Boeing, but there are some caveats to keep in mind when Trump addresses the subject:
— The order primarily came together while Barack Obama was president, and it’s unlikely any president had much to do with it. The announcement of major aircraft orders usually follows lengthy negotiations. The Boeing order was announced less than three weeks after Trump was sworn in.
—Boeing says the order will “sustain” more than 70,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs for the company, its suppliers, and others. The company did not say they were new jobs.
Trump witnessed a “certificate of purchase” signing at the White House on Monday by Boeing and Singapore Airlines executives. “In terms of the orders it’s about $13.8 billion, and most importantly it’s about 70,000 jobs,” Trump said, patting Boeing’s Kevin McAllister on the back. “So those are all jobs in this country.”
The president correctly cited the value of the order for 39 airplanes, but it’s unlikely to yield $13.8 billion.
Boeing says the contract is worth that much at “current list prices.” But airlines routinely receive deep discounts from the list price of planes. Boeing declined to provide financial terms of the order.
Boeing arrived at the job estimate by using a Commerce Department formula that supposes every $1 billion in U.S. exports supports 5,200 U.S. jobs, said Boeing spokesman Dan Curran.
The Boeing calculation is based on the list price of the planes, while Singapore Airlines probably is paying far less. “It’s definitely an imperfect formula,” Curran said. He called the 70,000-job figure the best estimate that doesn’t involve Boeing disclosing confidential information.
The company also notes that the announcement was an order “previously attributed to an unidentified customer,” meaning it happened earlier.
Singapore Airlines announced Feb. 9 that it signed a letter of intent to order the 39 planes from a U.S. manufacturer. Boeing booked the order in June but did not identify the buyer until this week. Boeing and competitor Airbus sometimes let airlines announce such orders first.
The announcement of major aircraft orders usually follows lengthy negotiations. So the Boeing order primarily came together while Barack Obama was president. It was announced less than three weeks after Trump was sworn in. It’s unlikely any president had much to do with it.
The order is for 20 777-9s and 19 787-10s, with an option for Singapore Airlines to buy six more of each type.
Boeing arrived at the job estimate by using a Commerce Department formula that every $1 billion in U.S. exports supports 5,200 U.S. jobs, said Boeing spokesman Dan Curran. The Boeing calculation is based on the list price of the planes, while Singapore Airlines probably is paying far less. “It’s definitely an imperfect formula,” Curran said. He called the 70,000-job figure the best estimate that doesn’t involve Boeing disclosing confidential information.
President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Bob Corker are lobbing insults at each other again. The slings and arrows are largely a matter of opinion — is Trump “debasing” the nation as Corker says? Is the senator “incompetent” and a “lightweight,” as the president tweeted?
But aside from those negative reviews of each other, Trump, in particular, got a couple of facts wrong.
Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
TRUMP tweets Tuesday: “Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts….” And: “Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”
…Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
THE FACTS: Trump, who spelled Tennessee right the first time, continues to label Corker an enabler of the Iran nuclear deal when he was a leading critic of it.
Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had nothing to do with the 2015 international agreement forged by the U.S. and other world powers to constrain Iran’s ability to build a nuclear arsenal. He argued at the time that President Barack Obama should have made the international pact a treaty subject to approval by the Senate. When Obama didn’t do that, Corker helped fellow senators write legislation that subjected the accord to periodic congressional review. The legislation would have blocked the deal if that effort got enough votes. It didn’t. Obama brought the deal into effect, not Congress.
Despite that record, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Corker and the Iran deal: “He voted against it, but he allowed it to happen, and he put it in motion.”
Trump contended, also in a tweet, that Corker decided not to seek another term next year because he “couldn’t get re-elected.” That, of course, is his opinion. But the president has not substantiated his claim that Corker made that decision because he failed to secure his endorsement.
In fact, Trump urged Corker to run during a private meeting in September, media outlets learned. And Corker’s chief of staff, Todd Womack, said Trump called Corker after that to ask that he reconsider his decision to leave the Senate. Trump “reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times,” the aide said.
For his part, Corker is having fun steering people on Twitter to #AlertTheDaycareStaff, where Twitter users share thoughts arising from his Oct. 8 Trump slam: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) October 24, 2017
Trump’s latest Twitter tirade prompted the senator to tweet Tuesday: “Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president.” And he told CNN he holds Trump responsible for “the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, the name-calling.”
Tull transcript of Bob Corker’s chat with CNN’s Manu Raju is below:
RAJU: [Trump said] You didn’t run for reelection because you couldn’t get his endorsement. Is that accurate?
CORKER: No, it’s not accurate… you know, nothing he said in his tweets today was truthful or accurate. He knows it and people around him know it. I would hope the staff over there would figure out ways of controlling him when they know that everything he said today was absolutely untrue.
RAJU: And you said he’s an untruthful President. No question?
CORKER: Yeah, no question. We grew up in our family not using the “L” word, okay, and they’re provable untruths. I mean, on the Iran deal everybody knows the role I played there. They are working with me, interestingly, right now on tax reform, I made the deal with Toomey that has allowed that to go forward. Obviously, I wanna make sure it’s done properly. And everything else, I mean, four times he encouraged me to run and told me he would endorse me. So I don’t know, it’s amazing.
Unfortunately, I think world leaders are very aware that much of what he says is untrue. Certainly people here are, because these things are provably untrue. I mean, they’re just factually incorrect and people know the difference. So I don’t know why he lowers himself to such a low, low standard and debases our country in the way that he does, but he does.
I don’t like responding, you know, you can let him go unanswered but it’s just not me to… we don’t do tweets like that, we’ve responded twice to, again, untruths, but it’s unfortunate that our nation finds itself in this place.
RAJU: Is the President of the United States a liar?
CORKER: The president has great difficulty with the truth. On many issues.
RAJU: Do you regret supporting him in the election?
CORKER: Uh, let’s just put it this way: I would not do that again.
RAJU: You wouldn’t support him again.
CORKER: No way. No way. I think that he’s proven himself unable to rise to the occasion, I think many of us, me included, have tried to… I’ve intervened, I’ve had a private dinner, I’ve been with him on multiple occasions to try to create some kind of aspirational… approach if you will, to the way that he conducts himself. But I don’t think that that’s possible, and he’s obviously not going to rise to the occasion as President.
RAJU: Do you think he’s a role model to children in the United States?
RAJU: You don’t.
CORKER: No. Absolutely not. I think that the things that are happening right now that are harmful to our nation, whether it’s the breaking down of… we’re gonna be doing some hearings on some of the things that he purposely is breaking down the relationships we have around the world that have been useful to our nation. But I think at the end of the day when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non truth-telling, just the name calling, I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful. And it affects young people. I mean, we have young people who for the first time are watching a President stating absolute non-truths non-stop. Personalising things in the way that he does. And it’s very sad for our nation.
RAJU: Do you trust him with access to the nuclear codes?
CORKER: I don’t wanna go into, you know I don’t wanna (inaudible) … In our hearing process certainly we’re going to be addressing the fact that he with only one other person on the defense side has tremendous powers. And again, I don’t wanna carry this much further, but look I expressed concerns a few weeks ago about his leadership, and his stability, and the lack of desire to be competent on issues, and understand, and nothing has changed. But again I don’t wanna make this a daily issue… (inaudible) the work that we need to do, and he currently is the person that from the executive side we have to deal with. And the shame of it is there are some really good people round him. And if he would stay out of their way and let them perform, people like Tillerson, Mattis and others, you know, we could really make progress on things that matter greatly to our country.
RAJU: Do you (inaudible) out like this if you were not (inaudible)
CORKER: (Inaudible) I did that, this has been building for months, and you know that, you’ve been covering this. Look, I came up here as a person who had a mission to be here for two terms, and it was hard to say you were gonna leave, no question, but I followed through on that. And I think it’s that independence of knowing you aren’t making this a career that, look, it certainly makes a difference. I think the American people know that. But… I don’t know what else to say.
RAJU: Will you be going to lunch today?
CORKER: Oh definitely, to my lunch. (laughs)
RAJU: Are you going to talk to the President?
CORKER: Who knows.