Trump: 'Ask Hillary who blew up the plane'

Trump: 'Ask Hillary who blew up the plane'
The presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee fires back at Hillary Clinton for criticising his plans to ban Muslims from the United States.
3 min read
20 May, 2016

Trump on plane crash

After the disappearance of AirEgypt flight MS804 on Thursday, Donald Trump has used speculation that those on board were the victims of a "terrorist" attack to go after rival Hillary Clinton.  

His latest outburst came after Clinton said that Trump's plan to bar Muslims from entering the US fuelled armed groups' fire.

"The fact that Hillary thinks the temporary Muslim ban, which she calls the 'Muslim ban', promotes terrorism, proves Bernie Sanders was correct when he said she is not qualified to be president," the business tycoon's campaign said in a statement on Thursday. 

'Recruiter of terrorism'

The former first lady had spoken out against the presumptive Republican nominee's plans in an interview with CNN on Thursday.

"When you run for president of the United States, the entire world is listening and watching," she told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"So when you say you're going to bar all Muslims, you're sending evidence to the Muslim world, and you're also sending a message to terrorists… Donald Trump is essentially being used as a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism."

Relatives of passengers anxiously await news [Getty]
In his response to the prospective Democratic Party nominee, Trump accused Clinton of naivety for not making a link between Thursday's plane disappearance and terrorism - a link which has yet to be substantiated by any official in either France or Egypt, let alone in the US.

"And by the way, ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night - another terrible, but preventable tragedy. She has bad judgement and is unfit to serve as president at this delicate and difficult time in our country's history," Trump's statement continued.

Terror attack?

On the day that the EgyptAir flight crashed on its route from Paris to Cairo, the president of the Russian Federal Security Service speculated that the incident was caused by an armed group.
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"Unfortunately has been another incident today concerning an Egyptian Airlines plane. It appears this is a terrorist action that has killed 66 citizens of about 12 countries," Bortnikov told Russian media outlets. 

Such speculation about a possible hijacking of the plane has also been fuelled by the fact that the plane's relatively new design and specifications were unlikely to encounter mechanical errors that would cause a crash.

"This is an aircraft that has a very good safety record," Dr Anil Padhra, senior lecturer in aviation at London's Kingston University, told The New Arab

"It is possible that the pilot lost control, but due to the altitude that he was flying at, its very unlikely, because with the flight in autopilot he has very little to do. Even when the pilot wants to change the flight altitude, this is done by dialing in the number into a computer. For this reason, it is strange for a plane to go off the radar without first sending a warning."

On Thursday, Egypt's Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said he could not rule out either terrorism or a technical problem but that the crash was "more likely" caused by an attack.

"I don't deny the hypothesis of a terrorist attack or something technical. It is too early," he told a news conference.