The construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will cost over $21 million, according to newly released documents — over 80 times more than what President Trump claimed.
ABC News first reported on the filing, which shows that the State Department granted the Maryland-based Desbuild Limak D&K a contract worth $21.2 million to design and construct “addition and compound security upgrades” at the former consular building in Jerusalem, the current temporary home for the embassy.
The figure goes against Trump’s past statements about the renovation costs.
“We’re going to have it built very quickly and very inexpensively,” Trump said in March.
“They put an order in front of my desk last week for a billion dollars. I said, ‘A billion? What’s that for?’ ” Trump asked. “We’re actually doing it for about $250,000.”
Trump later raised his estimate, saying in April that a renovation would cost between $300,000 and $400,000.
The Hill added:
ABC reports that in addition to the $21.2 million contract for upgrades, the U.S. government has already allocated $300,000 for the new embassy. The $300,000 went toward initial modifications to the former consular building, which occurred before the official opening of the embassy in May.
A State Department official told ABC that Trump’s estimates did not consider the second phase of renovations for the embassy.
The decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May gave rise to violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops. More than 50 Palestinians were killed as they attempted to cross the border fence between Israel and Gaza in protest of the move.