Trump speaks with Boeing CEO after crash raises concerns

President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE on Tuesday spoke with the CEO of Boeing as the company grapples with concerns over the safety of its 737 Max 8 aircraft.

The two men spoke by phone, and Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg expressed confidence in the safety of the Max fleet of planes, according to a person familiar with the matter.


The conversation took place after Trump tweeted early in the day that planes "are becoming far too complex to fly."

It was not immediately clear who initiated the call.

Trump on Tuesday morning expressed concern that the increasing complexity of airplane technology was creating danger.

"Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," he tweeted. "I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better."

"Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger," he continued. "All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!"

The European Union, China, Australia, Indonesia and other countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash over the weekend that killed 157 people.

The aircraft was also involved in an October crash in Indonesia. Both incidents are the subject of ongoing investigations.

The Trump administration has yet to follow suit and ground the planes in the U.S., despite growing calls from lawmakers and industry stakeholders.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement Monday that the planes are safe to fly, and that it will take appropriate action if it determines otherwise. The agency said Tuesday morning that it had no updated comment on the matter.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday afternoon that the Trump administration would allow the investigations into the crashes to play out before making any decision.

"We have to review and see what actually took place," she said. "We know that a lot of people in the industry have started to voice concerns about the amount of technology and taking the power out of the hands of the pilots, you saw the president talk about that in his tweets earlier today.

"This is going to be a process and we’re going to be in constant contact through the Department of Transportation, the FAA and make a determination at the appropriate time."