McCain: ‘There’s Going To Be Hell To Pay’ If Separatists Shot Down Airliner

AP

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that “there’s going to be hell to pay” if it is determined that either Russia or pro-Russian separatists shot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane flying over Eastern Ukraine.

Cautioning that he didn’t want to draw conclusions until more information was available, McCain told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that there has been a pattern of pro-Russian forces already shooting down several Ukrainian aircraft.

“This was an airliner headed towards Russian air space,” the Arizona Republican said. “And it has the earmarks — and I’m not concluding — but it has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft that they may have believed was Ukrainian. If that’s true, this is a horrible tragedy event which was certainly unanticipated by anybody, no matter who they are.”

McCain added that the event had all the makings of a “tragic mistake” that would carry incalculable repercussions for those responsible.

“If it is the result of either separatist or Russian actions mistakenly believing that this was a Ukrainian war plane, I think there’s going to be hell to pay,” he said. “And there should be.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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