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Who flies Air Force One? Trump says presidential plane pilots are 'better looking than Tom Cruise'

The former president praised the pilots of the presidential plane while talking about his surprise visit to Iraq during an event in Austin, Texas
Ex-US President Donald Trump (L) said that Air Force One pilots are more handsome than actor Tom Cruise (R) (Brandon Bell/Getty Images and Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Ex-US President Donald Trump (L) said that Air Force One pilots are more handsome than actor Tom Cruise (R) (Brandon Bell/Getty Images and Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has called pilots of Air Force One “better looking than Tom Cruise”. The 75-year-old was on the all-day conservative American Freedom Tour in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 14, when he reportedly made the bizarre statement. Addressing his allies and supporters, Trump, who called himself the "King of MAGA", shared some stories from his time while being the Commander-in-Chief of the nation.

One such incident included the time when he went to Iraq in Air Force One and compared the presidential plane’s pilots to the 59-year-old ‘Mission Impossible’ actor. During his speech, Trump did not provide the time when he arrived in Iraq but in December 2018, he infamously visited US troops deployed in Iraq without allegedly informing the government of the Middle Eastern country. The Iraqi prime minister was told about his visit two hours prior to his arrival.


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Former US President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center on May 14, 2022, in Austin, Texas (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Speaking to his supporters on Saturday, Trump said, “We landed in Air Force One, the windows were all dark. The pilots are great - you know they say the greatest pilots are the ones that fly Air Force One and all of the different things having to do with presidential including the helicopters.”

Former US President Donald Trump, former first lady Melania Trump, and family members acknowledge supporters at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for the last time as President on January 20, 2021, in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images)

He continued, “They said ‘Sir, you're going to have to close your windows now and all lights are going off on Air Force One.’ I said, ‘Wow, why? We just spent $2 trillion in this area, we have to turn our lights off when we go in? What the hell kind of a job did we do?’”

The 45th president also noted, “I never saw anything like it, this thing. They had it closed, they had every light off, you couldn't see anything but I went up with the pilots. These pilots - better looking than Tom Cruise,” before mentioning that they were “much stronger” than Cruise.

Tom Cruise attends the Mexico Premiere of 'Top Gun: Maverick' at Cinepolis Parque Toreo on May 6, 2022, in Mexico City, Mexico (Hector Vivas/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Trump then went on to give detailed information about his Iraq tour as he said, “So I'm with the captain and all the people up there, we're flying - we're flying blind.” He noted that the plane landed in the desert “cool as cucumber” as he said while laughing, “Do I get a Congressional medal of honor for this trip?” He then asked, “Am I allowed to give myself a Congressional medal of honor for being so brave to sit up there and watch us land in the middle of a desert with no runway?”

Who flies Air Force One?

Air Force One is said to be the world's most famous and safe airship. The presidential plane is flown by two US Air Force pilots, who are reportedly called the Presidential and Deputy Presidential Pilots. A third pilot is always on-board “in case a crew member should become incapacitated,” as stated by Aero Corner which also noted that the crew members of the plane “are from 89th Airlift Wing of the USAF Air Mobility Command, which is the military’s largest executive flight department.”

Members of the Oregon Air National Guard walk past Air Force One at the Portland Air National Guard Base after US President Joe Biden delivered remarks on infrastructure on April 21, 2022, in Portland, Oregon (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Aero Corner mentioned that due to security reasons, the identities of the Air Force One pilots are generally not available on public domains. “There are several pilots usually allocated the roles of Presidential and Deputy Presidential pilot, who are rotated throughout the year to allow for leave and emergencies,” it added.