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Blumenthal Defends F-35 Fighter Jet Program After Trump Tweet Blasts Costs

President-Elect Donald Trump slammed the F-35 program in a Tweet on Monday.
President-Elect Donald Trump slammed the F-35 program in a Tweet on Monday. Photo Credit: Donald J. Trump via Twitter @realDonaldTrump

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) came to the defense of the F-35 fighter jet program after President-elect Donald Trump criticized its size in a tweet.

The engines for the F-35 are built by Connecticut's Pratt & Whitney. The jets are manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and make up 20 percent of Lockheed Martin's revenue, according to NBC Connecticut.

"The F-35 program and cost is out of control," Trump tweeted Monday. "Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th."

NBC Connecticut reported that Lockheed Martin's stock fell about 5 percent in early trading Monday after Trump issued the tweet. Shares of Pratt & Whitney's parent company United Technologies also fell briefly, but recovered, NBC Connecticut reported.

Following Trump's comment, Blumenthal said that the F-35 program is necessary for the protection of the United States and its allies.

"I will continue to fight for the F-35 program that is essential to American air superiority, our NATO allies, Israel's common defense against Russia's robust air assets and missiles, and other potential threats to American security across the globe," Blumenthal said. "Reducing unnecessary costs is a welcome and important effort, but it cannot detract from our continued commitment to the Joint Strike Fighter, and the edge these jets provide our military that is so critical to our national defense and our alliances abroad."

Click here for the NBC Connecticut story.

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