Trump is a very expensive president; he loves to spend money—and he loves to spew lies, too. This is why the news of the true estimated cost of the president’s decision to move the American embassy into Jerusalem is, sadly, unsurprising.
During a press event with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March, Trump claimed that his controversial new embassy will cost about $250,000. We’re going to have it built very quickly and inexpensively,” Trump said. “They put an order in front of my desk last week for $1 billion. I said, ‘A billion? What’s that for? We’re actually doing it for about $250,000, so check that out.”
He later increased that estimate to about $400,00 during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but that turns out to be a woefully low number.
Al-Monitor broke the news on the report that the true estimated price tag is much higher.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted that he would save US taxpayers a bundle by negotiating a $250,000 price tag for a new embassy in Jerusalem. Turns out the final cost, just for a temporary facility, is almost 100 times more.
Documents uploaded this week to the official database of federal spending show that Maryland-based joint venture Desbuild Limak D&K has been awarded a $21.2 million award to design and build “addition and compound security upgrades” to the embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. That’s in addition to the $335,000 spent to get the facility, formerly a US consulate, ready for its ritzy grand opening as an embassy back in May.
An official from the State Department told Al-Monitor that Trump’s estimates were just referring to “the cost of initial modifications made to permit the embassy to open on May 14.”
Even so, this is a lot of money for a political move by Trump to appease white evangelicals. A House aide said that isn’t the final price tag for this move, either. This money will be used to upgrade the temporary facility—there are future plans to buy a new, permanent facility.