The Insider

Trump: 'We want to get twice as many planes for half the price'

February 12, 2018 at 1:50 PM

President Trump today said the military is getting a significant budget boost -- but that he expects the Pentagon to be able to buy more for less.

Speaking at a meeting with state and local officials about his infrastructure initiative, Trump said the new budget takes care "of the military like it's never been taken care of before."

"In fact, Gen. [Jim] Mattis called me, and he goes, 'Wow, I can't believe I got everything we wanted.' I said, 'That's right, but we want no excuses. We want you to buy twice, OK, twice what you thought for half the price,'" Trump said, according to a transcript of the meeting.

"So maybe we're going to get involved a little bit in the buying," he continued. "We want to get twice as many planes for half the price. And believe me, we can do a lot, because the procurement process is very outdated, to put it nicely."

During the same remarks, Trump also said his administration is working to create a "brand new nuclear force."

"Frankly, we have to do it because others are doing it. If they stop, we'll stop, but they're not stopping," he said. "So if they're not going to stop, we're going to be so far ahead of everybody else in nuclear like you've never seen before. And I hope they stop. And if they do, we'll stop in two minutes. And, frankly, I would like to get rid of a lot of them. And if they want to do that, we'll go along with them. We won't lead the way; we'll go along with them.

"But we will have a nuclear force that will be absolutely modernized and brand new, and hopefully we'll never have to use it, and hopefully we can reduce it in the years ahead," Trump continued. "And that depends really on what other people are going to be doing. But we will always be number one in that category, certainly as long as I'm president. We're going to be far, far in excess of anybody else."