The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will cost nearly 100 times more than what Trump said

Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images,White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrive to the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel. US President Donald J. Trump’s administration officially transferred the ambassador’s offices to the consulate building and temporarily use it as the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Trump in December last year recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced an embassy move from Tel Aviv, prompting protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim-majority countries.
  • Documents made public this month show the State Department awarded a $US21.2 million contract for upgrades to the US embassy building in Jerusalem.
  • Trump previously boasted that the site would cost between “$US200,000 to $US300,000.”

The new US embassy in Jerusalem will cost $US21.2 million to construct – nearly $US20 million more than President Donald Trump estimated in May.

Documents made public this month show the State Department awarded a $US21.2 million contract to the Maryland-based venture Desbuild Limak D&K for “building additions and compound security upgrades” at the new US embassy complex in Jerusalem, which opened in May to much controversy.

Trump had previously boasted several times about cutting costs in the embassy’s construction. At a meeting at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March, Trump told reporters he rejected a $US1 billion build proposal for the embassy, and opted to build one for $US250,000 instead.

“We’re going to have it built very quickly and inexpensively,” Trump told reporters. “They put an order in front of my desk last week for $US1 billion… We’re actually doing it for about $US250,000, so check that out,” he claimed.

At a rally in Indiana in May, Trump spent 10 minutes telling the crowd how he had avoided spending a “crazy” $US1 billion bid to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and claimed the US would only spend “$US200,000 to $US300,000” on the endeavour.

The US had poured just under $US400,000 into renovations of the Jerusalem embassy, which previously served as a consulate when the original site was in Tel Aviv, in order to have it up and running for its big unveiling in May.

A US State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the president’s initial costs for upgrading the site were $US400,000, and plans are now focused on construction of a new extension and security enhancements costing $US21 million.

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