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not in business anymore

Trump discussed Lockheed Martin's F-35 with a general while Lockheed Martin's biggest competitor was secretly listening

In President Trump's last hurrah as a businessman before being sworn into office, he apparently called up the Air Force general overseeing the Pentagon's "largest weapons program," the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jet, while the CEO of Lockheed's biggest competitor listened in, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Co., was in Trump's New York City office while Trump was questioning the general about how Boeing's Super Hornet fighter compared to Lockheed's F-35C. Muilenburg reportedly "appeared caught off-guard but heard at least Trump's end of the call," people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg.

Trump has publicly questioned the "out of control" costs of the F-35 program, and has even suggested using a Boeing fighter jet instead of the Lockheed jet. Perhaps as problematic as having Lockheed's rival in the room during the call was the fact that Trump directly reached out to the F-35 program manager not once, but twice, about a contract finalized 16 years ago. "When a president ignores the chain of command by going directly to a program manager, it creates chaos in the system," defense analyst Loren Thompson told Bloomberg. "Behavior that looks decisive in the business world can unhinge a military organization that depends on order and discipline."

Read more on President Trump's business calls at Bloomberg.