Trump Draws Connection Between Southwest Airlines Woes and His Election Loss

Former President Donald Trump suggested during the Howie Carr Show that the mass cancellation of flights by Southwest Airlines over the weekend is connected to his failed reelection campaign.

Trump appeared on the show to give his opinion of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and explain his endorsement of challenger Geoff Diehl, but the radio host asked the president his thoughts on the airline's recent woes—which he suggested were a result of vaccine mandates though officials have rejected these claims.

"I think it has a lot to do with a lot of things. I think it has something to do with the election that was rigged," Trump said. "I think these are big fans of your favorite president, Howie, I think that this has something to do with that. I think it has something to do with the...I think it has a lot to do with mandates where it's just not going in. And they're going to destroy the economy with what's happening right now."

While conservative figures have claimed the airline canceled more than 1,000 flights over the weekend because of walkout protests over the vaccine mandate, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association denied the claims and cited "disruptive weather" and an "FAA [Federal Aviation Administration]-imposed air traffic management program" as the reasons.

Donald Trump Holds Rally At Iowa State
Former President Donald Trump suggested during the "Howie Carr Show" that the mass cancellation of flights by Southwest Airlines over the weekend is connected to his failed re-election campaign. Pictured is Trump speaking to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on October 9 in Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Speaking to Trump, the radio host suggested the airline's staff shortage is the "transportation version" of the Blue Flu, a strike tactic used by police officers where a large number use their sick leave at once, and that employees are walking off because they're angry about the vaccine mandates.

Trump didn't elaborate further on how the mass cancellations were connected to his election loss but continued that he believes the mandates and the fact that the airline "hasn't been up and going for a while" are the key reasons it's struggling.

When asked what he would say to the individuals who are asked to choose between their jobs and receiving the vaccine, Trump said he supports the shot but not requiring it.

"I believe you have to have freedom, nobody can force it into your system," he said. "Now with that being said, I'm a big fan of the vaccine. I'm the one who got it done in nine months, less than nine months. And we saved millions of lives."

Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), has dismissed claims that the flight disruptions are a result of vaccine mandate walkouts.

"I can say with certainty that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise. Under the RLA, our Union is forbidden from taking job action to resolve labor disputes under these circumstances. SWAPA has not authorized, and will not condone, any job action," Murray said. SWAPA has previously criticized the mandate which ruled that all workers must be vaccinated by November 24.

Trump went on to say that Biden has done a "terrible job" since taking office and criticized the media's response to how it's reported on the coronavirus pandemic death count under each administration.

"All of a sudden they're trying to give him praise when look, he lost the election by a lot but he was given a fake publicity on COVID—or China virus as I call it—but he was given a whole fake pile of public relations and probably helped him in that regard but he hasn't come through," Trump said.

He added that when he was president, nobody talked about not getting the vaccine because everyone wanted it. Trump said that once Biden came into office and began mandating the shot, people lost trust in the administration.

Earlier in the show, the former president also said he would be open to traveling to Massachusets to campaign for Diehl because he's a "real Republican" and with Baker in office "you might as well have a Democrat."

However, he continued that it's not an easy place for a Republican to win partly because the state likely has "rigged voting like many other places in this country."

There has been no evidence of election fraud.

Newsweek reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.