WASHINGTON – In private meetings, in press conferences and with Israel’s prime minister, US President Donald Trump bragged that his deal-making skills and his knowledge of real estate would guarantee the US gets a good price on construction of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
The new embassy building – a refurbished US consular facility– would include the good marble, Trump said. “We’re actually doing it for about $250,000,” he told the press.
But Trump’s estimate was off by $20,950,000, according to documents filed with the official database of federal spending.
A Maryland-based company, Desbuild Limak D&K, was contracted to design and build an “addition and compound security upgrades” for $21.2 million, ABC News first reported.
Trump had said he stopped approval of the construction mid-signature after discovering an initial price of “a billion” US dollars.
“We’re going to have it built very quickly and very inexpensively,” Trump said during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit last March.
“They put an order in front of my desk last week for a billion dollars. I said, ‘A billion? What’s that for?’” State Department officials say the Jerusalem embassy will ultimately move to a brand new building after a years-long process of scouting properties, selecting an architect and construction. The temporary facility opened in May, timed with Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence.