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Lockheed says didn't seek help from Trump's ex-campaign manager

Reuters

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N> did not turn to Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and his lobbying firm to steer through the cost dispute around the F-35 fighter plane, a company spokesman said.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Lockheed, the world's largest defense contractor, sought Lewandowski's help after an initial discussion on the issue between Trump and Lockheed's Marillyn Hewson didn't go well.

"Lockheed has not retainedLewandowski, or his lobbying firm," spokesman William Phelps told Reuters.

The problem erupted in December when Trump slammed the F-35 program for being too expensive and said he intends to keep pushing to cut the costs of military hardware.

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Trump also targeted Boeing with tweets for "out of control" costs on new Air Force One planes and sought cancellation of the order.

Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered cost-cutting reviews of the F-35 fighter jet and Boeing's <BA.N> next-generation of the Air Force One presidential plane.

In June, Trump fired Lewandowski, who had been overseeing the campaign's fundraising arm, over a dispute with other advisers. Lewandowski helped Trump win Republican presidential nominating contests.

(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)