Monday 26 June 2017

How Trump broke with US Presidential tradition in first few hours after election success

Trump snubs Air Force One trip in favour of own jet

Mr Obama used Air Force One to campaign for Hillary Clinton – a fact not lost on Mr Trump. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Mr Obama used Air Force One to campaign for Hillary Clinton – a fact not lost on Mr Trump. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

James Rothwell

Most statesmen would be delighted to accept a trip to the White House on Air Force One.

But Donald Trump broke with tradition yesterday by taking his own Boeing 757-200 jet to a meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama.

President-elect Donald Trump meets US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President-elect Donald Trump meets US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The move has prompted questions as to whether the man in line to be America's 45th president will seek to hold on to the trappings of his celebrity image, which include the jet and a 66th-storey penthouse at Trump Tower.

Mr Trump bought the airliner, which can reach speeds of up to 500mph, in 2011 and splashed out a small fortune on equipping it.

According to a Discovery Channel documentary, he fondly refers to the plane as the "T-Bird", though since his election victory it has been renamed "Trump Force One".

It is reputedly worth more than $100m and boasts 24-carat gold fixtures and two bedrooms. Its seat belts are gold-plated, while the bedroom reserved for Mr Trump features wood panelling and silk pillows embroidered with his family crest.

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

However, the plane is considerably smaller than the official presidential jet, with a wingspan of 125 feet, compared with Air Force One's 195 feet. And whereas Air Force One has room for 102 people, there are just 43 seats on Mr Trump's airliner.

The president-elect's private jet also lacks a conference room, gym and flares to avoid heat-seeking missiles, all of which are available on Air Force One. Nor does it have a built-in medical centre to monitor the health of the world's most powerful man.

Mr Obama used Air Force One to campaign for Hillary Clinton - a fact not lost on Mr Trump. "Why is President Obama allowed to use Air Force One on the campaign trail with crooked Hillary?" he asked.

He has also claimed that Air Force One had "old engines", and that Mr Obama had a huge carbon footprint.

Protesters gather in Chicago as they demonstrate against the election of President-elect Donald Trump (AP)
Protesters gather in Chicago as they demonstrate against the election of President-elect Donald Trump (AP)

Mr Trump also broke with protocol yesterday by refusing to allow a 'pool' of reporters and photographers to travel with him.

Read more: Air Force Trump: Inside Donald Trump's $100m Boeing 757

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News