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Vice President Joe Biden at Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit Michigan on July 17, 2014
Speaking in Detroit at Netroots Nation 2014, Vice President Joe Biden said Malaysia Airlines flight 17 "apparently had been shot down," the U.S. government's first public statement indicating it believes the plane had been attacked.

Shortly after Vice President Biden's remarks, Fox and NBC reported that U.S. military officials confirmed they believe the plane was shot down by a surface to air missile in Ukrainian airspace near the Russian border, but they did not say they had determined where the attack had been launched.

The unanswered question is the question of who is responsible for shooting the plane down. Most speculation has focused on the possibility that pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine used equipment provided by the Russian government to shoot down the plane, likely not realizing they were targeting a passenger plane. Meanwhile, the pro-Russian rebels are pointing their fingers at Ukraine. Other speculation focused on Russia itself.

In his remarks, Biden also said that Ukraine's president had accepted offers of assistance from the United States in investigating who was behind the attack. Biden, while not confirming reports that Americans were on board the plane, said he was aware of the reports and that the government was working to confirm them as quickly as possible.

2:12 PM PT: Washington Post also reports that American officials are confirming a surface-to-air missile shot the plane down.


2:13 PM PT:
Reuters: MALAYSIA AIRLINES EUROPEAN HEAD SAYS AMSTERDAM AIRPORT CEO SAYS 154 DUTCH, 27 AUSTRALIANS, 23 MALAYSIANS ABOARD

@LukeRussert
2:31 PM PT:
BREAKING: Russian President Vladimir Putin: Ukraine bears responsibility for crash of Malaysian airliner
@AP

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