Obama: Downed Malaysia Airline Jet ‘May Be a Terrible Tragedy’

by Andrew Johnson

In his first public comments on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, President Obama briefly touched on the developing news at the beginning of his previously scheduled remarks in Delaware.

“Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” he said. “Right now, we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board — that is our first priority — and I’ve directed my national-security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government.”

“The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why, and as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers wherever they call home,” he added, before resuming his speech on increased infrastructure spending.

CBS anchor Scott Pelley then cut away from the remainder of the president’s speech.

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