On today’s Shepard Smith Reporting, Shep took issue with Ukrainian pro-Russian rebel denials of shooting down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 based on the claim that they don’t have missiles capable of reaching that altitude.


LIVE UPDATES: Malaysia Airlines Plane Carrying 295 People Crashes in Ukraine


Jennifer Griffin joined Shep to report on recent evidence to the contrary that suggests the rebels do have access to a Buk missile system.

“This is the third plane to be brought down in that region of Eastern Ukraine in the last four days,” Griffin said.

She also reported on a deleted tweet from the Donetsk Republic, the official Twitter page of the Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine.

Griffin said. “It’s from June 29, and it brags about overtaking this (Ukrainian military) base … and showing what is a SA-11 or SA-17 missile that can fly up to 72,000 feet."

She concluded, “It appears that the Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine overtook this military base, where we know that the Ukraine military did have some Buk missiles that they had bought previously from the Russians. They’ve overtaken this base. They brag about it, and then they delete the tweet from June 29 after this plane goes down, realizing that they want to have plausible deniability that they in fact didn’t have this kind of missile.”

Griffin reported that it was “clear the U.S. had concerns” missiles would end up in the separatists' hands when President Obama announced sanctions against eight Russian defense firms – including the Almaz-Antey, which makes the Buk missile.

Ukrainian security forces say two phone calls were intercepted after the crash. The first call was allegedly a rebel commander telling Russian military intelligence that they shot the plane down. The other call was purportedly of a rebel at the crash site tells another at a different location that they shot the flight down.  

More information in the clip above. 


More on the Malaysia Airlines plane crash:

Shep on Malaysia Airlines Crash: 'If Putin Is Responsible, the World Will Know'

Photos: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Wreckage

Obama on Malaysia Airlines Crash: 'Nat'l Security Team in Contact With Ukrainian Gov't'