US State Department for the first time did not issue a statement on the MH17 anniversary

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Each year since MH17 was shot down by a Russian BUK missile killing all 298 person on board , the US State Department issued a statement on MH17. However at July 17 2018 the State Department did not issue such a statement. However the US embassy in Russia did for a short while publish a statement, before it was removed!

This is a link to the 2017 statement.

Foreign Policy discovered that officials of the State Department had prepared a draft statement, but the text was never published. State Department also did not publish the statement by the G7 on MH17. The statement was:

Russia must “account for its role” in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine and cooperate with efforts to establish truth and justice

Only after Foreign Policy asked questions about this, State Department published the G7 statement.

Foreign Policy, who obtained the draft version writes:

The State Department draft was set to go out as early as Monday but was quashed at the last minute. Officials were told to “stand down” on releasing it because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “did not approve” the language, according to one official familiar with the deliberations.

The statement was placed for a short time on the US embassy Moscow’s website. Later it was removed!

This screenshot shows a cached version.

This is the Statement that was supposed to be published.

At the daily pressbriefing journalists asked questions to Heather Nauert, the spokeperson of the Department of State. She told that the US earlier released three statements on MH17. She did not tell that the G7 statement was only published at the website of the US administration after a journalist asked about it.

MS NAUERT: I get it. People seem to notice things. Let me just underscore one more time: The United States holds Russia responsible for the shoot-down of —

QUESTION: All right.

MS NAUERT: — MH17 and let me leave it at that. Okay?

The transcript of the pressbriefing is here.

Trump meeting with Putin

Trump met President Putin on Monday July 16 in Helsinki. They did not talk about MH17. Foreign Policy writes about the meeting between the two leader:

Trump lavished praise on Putin in Helsinki Monday and stunned U.S. lawmakers and national security experts by siding with him against the U.S. intelligence community’s assessments of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


Trump previous statement on MH17

Trump in an interview at October 14 2015 on MSNBC with NBC reporter Katy Tur stated (at 10:40 into the interview)  “We just can’t fight with everybody” and “I think we have to straighten our own problems out right now” broadcast on Wednesday’s”.  Trump stated Russia was probably responsible for the downing. “I think it is horrible,” Trump said of the incident. “But they’re saying it wasn’t them. The other side says it is them. And we’re going to go through that arguing for probably for 50 years and nobody is ever going to know. Probably was Russia.”

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