John McCain: There’ll be ‘hell to pay’ if Malaysia plane was shot down by separatists

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Sen. John McCain said Thursday afternoon that he wasn’t ready to conclude that the Malaysia Airlines crash came as a result of an attack — but he did make clear that trouble was on the way for Russian separatists if suggestions of a purposeful shoot-down proved true.

“To leap to conclusions could be very embarrassing and really inappropriate until we have more information,” Mr. McCain said during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, just a little while after hearing reports that the plane carrying 295 passengers could have been shot from the sky over eastern Ukraine by Russian separatists.

Mr. McCain said his Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee has fielded other reports of suspected separatist aggressions that turned out to be untrue, Politico reported.

So he’s trying to keep a steady head with this recent act, and withhold conclusions, Politico said.

“But if it is the result of either separatist or Russian actions mistakenly believing this was a Ukrainian war plane, I think there’s going to be hell to pay and there should be,” the Arizona Republican said, Politico reported.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Anton Gerashenko said through an adviser that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 was headed to Amsterdam from Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a Buk launcher missile.

Mr. McCain said of the incident that “it has the earmarks of a tragic mistake made by someone who had the capability to just shoot down an aircraft, and we know at least from the last couple of weeks that that could be Russian or separatist Russian capability,” Politico reported.

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