WASHINGTON — President Trump said he gave the Navy design tips on how to make its new ships “like a yacht with missiles on it” and that the Navy heeded his advice.
“They look terrible,’ Trump said of the ship designs during a visit Thursday to a shipyard in Wisconsin. “I changed designs. I looked at it I said that’s a terrible looking ship. Let’s make it beautiful. It’ll cost you the same and maybe less. You know sometimes you can make it look great for less money.”
The Navy did not respond to the Trump as designer-in-chief’s comments.
In reality, not a single ship has changed designs during the Trump administration. The latest ship contract was awarded under Trump, but the program dates back to the Obama Administration.
Trump was commenting while standing before the USS Cooperstown, named after the New York town that is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame,. It is a littoral ship and it was not clear if Trump was referring to that line of vessel as benefiting from his design suggestions. The Cooperstown is an upgraded littoral ship ordered by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. who was furious at the lack of firepower on the Navy’s littoral combat ships.
Trump also touted a new Navy contract for the shipyard that he said was worth $5.5 billion. The company received a contract to build 10 Navy frigates – a deal that could add 1,000 jobs. It is the first new major shipbuilding program for the U.S. Navy in more than a decade.
‘It’s gonna be built right here in the American heartland and it’s going to be built by you. And it’s going to go on for a long time because it’s up to 20 ships and might be extended,’ Trump said.
He was the contract was given to the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard because of its location — Wisconsin – a key presidential battleground.
During his remarks, Trump said the new Navy frigate will be able to fight anywhere on land sea or air. That would be a first as most frigates remain in the water.