Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is a "security president," and he grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft to maintain that image.
"You heard it from President Trump: The security of the American people is paramount. And Trump is a security president," Continetti said during an appearance on Fox News's The Daily Briefing.
"It's forgotten now, but terrorism and the security of the American people were a paramount issue in 2016. I think it's an underrated reason why he was elected that year. And he's taken pride in the flight record, the relatively safe record, very good safety record in the first few years of his presidency. He doesn't want to risk that and wants to maintain his image of being the security president. And that's why he made this decision," Continetti continued.
Trump announced on Wednesday that any Boeing 737 MAX plane "currently in the air will go to its destination and thereafter be grounded until further notice."
"The safety of the American people, and all people, is our paramount concern," Trump said.
"Pilots have been notified. Airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with us. The safety of the American people, and all people, is our paramount concern," Trump continued. "Our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones, to their friends, to their families, in both the Ethiopian and Lion Airlines that involved the 737 Max aircraft. It’s a terrible, terrible thing."
The FAA’s emergency order temporarily halts all flights of the Boeing MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes, "to address an emergency related to safety in air commerce," the order says.
The decision follows two crashes in the past six months involving the aircraft and subsequent announcements from other nations that they would ground the planes.
Boeing issued a statement supporting the administration's decision.
"Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX," the statement reads. "However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft."