Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Trump claims 'old and simpler' airplanes were safer. Such planes actually crashed more often.

In the wake of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet crash that killed 157 people in Ethiopia, President Trump took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with airplane safety. But rather than advocate for improved safety features or tighter regulations, the president voiced support for "old and simpler" technology.

Trump tweeted that airplanes "are becoming far too complex to fly," presumably more complex than his long-defunct airline, Trump Shuttle. Though plane crash deaths increased in 2018, the number of crashes is "about a third of what it was in the 1990s and a quarter of what it was in the 1970s when things were 'simpler,'" writes The New York Times' Peter Baker.

The president's argument is that pilots nowadays need to be as tech-savvy as computer scientists from MIT, which causes problems in split-second decisions. Trump wrote that he doesn't want Albert Einstein flying his plane, but rather "great flying professionals." Tim O'Donnell