President Trump on Thursday suggested that “somebody could’ve made a mistake” as reports emerged that Iran may have shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet.
Trump was asked during a White House event for his response to the plane crash at the same time multiple outlets reported U.S. officials increasingly believe an Iranian missile took down the aircraft.
The president declined to speculate on a specific cause but indicated he did not believe it was a mechanical issue that caused the crash.ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s a tragic thing when I see that. It’s a tragic thing. But somebody could’ve made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said, adding it had “nothing to do” with the U.S. “It was flying at a pretty rough neighborhood, and somebody could’ve made a mistake.”
Asked if he thought it was a mechanical issue, Trump said he didn’t “think that’s even a question, personally.”
“I have a feeling that it’s just — something very terrible happened,” he said.
A Ukrainian Airlines plane crashed Wednesday morning minutes after it took off from Tehran bound for Kyiv. At least 176 people were killed, including Iranian citizens and dozens of Canadians.
Investigators have not shared details on the cause of the crash, but CBS News reported Thursday morning that U.S. officials increasingly believe Iran shot down the plane.
The New York Times reported that investigators are looking into the possibility that a missile used by Iranian systems was found near where the plane crashed. The plane had reportedly turned back toward the airport in Tehran just before it went down.
The incident came after days of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which appeared to cool on Wednesday after Trump announced that Tehran was “standing down.”
(c) The Hill