During his Wednesday Fox Business interview with Maria Bartiromo, President Donald Trump expressed his misgivings with the supply chain of the F-35s, which he claimed are made “all over the world.” As reported by Raw Story, he also accused former President Barack Obama of playing a role in establishing this globalized chain.
“I could tell you hundreds of stories of the stupidity that I’ve seen,” Trump said.
“As an example, we make a fighter jet. It’s a certain fighter jet. I won’t tell you which, but it happens to be the F-35, okay? … And we make parts for this jet all over the world — we make them in Turkey, we make them here, we make them there — because President Obama and others — I’m not just blaming him — thought it was a wonderful thing.”
In a subsequent tweet by air war reporter Valerie Insinna, the Defense News journalist pushed back on Trump’s claims and suggested he’s “bending the truth at best.”
Although Insinna says that the Obama administration was supportive of the globalized structure of the F-35 program, she notes that the jet’s supply chain would have mainly been solidified when Obama took office in 2008. She notes that its first flight was in 2006 and that suppliers would likely have been selected before the aircraft contract was awarded in 2001.
"I won't tell you which but it happens to be the F35" pic.twitter.com/rHyTklfyJ1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 14, 2020
According to Insinna, the supply chain of the F-35 was “always in flux,” which she claims is consistent with its “overall vision.” This aircraft, she says, was created not just for use by the U.S. military, but also for America’s allies and partners.
In addition, the development of the F-35 was allegedly funded by many of these allies in return for industrial work. Insinna claims that the project was not conceptualized by “any one president” and pointed to the benefits of an aircraft that is shared by allies.
As outlined in her piece for Defense News, Insinna notes that the shared structure of the F-35s was a benefit for the Pentagon as it allowed them to coordinate with allies more effectively. She also claims it helped the Defense Department by providing them with a means of purchasing cheaper planes.
As of now, there are eight partner nations involved in the F-35 program: the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Italy, and the Netherlands. Turkey was part of the original group of nine, but was removed from the program last year after its investment in the Russian S-400 air defense system.
Trump has been lashing out at Obama in recent months. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump took aim at Obama just one day after his Fox News interview and accused Obama of being involved in unspecified crimes related to the FBI investigation of his 2016 presidential campaign.