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CNN "The Situation Room" - Transcript: Flight 370

Interview

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BLITZER: Let's bring in Peter King from New York. So what is your -- I know you're getting a lot of information, congressman. Congressman, what's your inclination right now?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Wolf, I would say nothing could be ruled in; nothing can be ruled out. I agree that there has been no link shown to terrorism, but on the other hand, there's been no link shown to anything. There's been no answer for any of this.

And certainly, if we have a plane where the transponder is off, where the route does almost a 180, we have to assume that everything has to be looked at and obviously terrorism would be one of those.

Now, if there was another theory that made sense or made more sense, then I would say, OK, maybe we should put terrorism to the side. But I think terrorism right now has to be looked at it, but doesn't mean it was terrorism. Don't get me wrong. But I'm just saying we certainly cannot rule it out on the evidence we have so far.

BLITZER: What about these two young Iranian passengers, the two young men who were flying with these stolen passports? What do you know about them?

KING: Basically, I don't know -- I know what's been reported. The fact is that so far they have shown no links between them and terrorism. And that may well turn out to be true. On the other hand, it's possible that there could be links that we don't know about.

So that's -- again, I think that has to be looked at very, very carefully. Because again you have all these coincidences of almost a one-in-a-billion-type accident. You have two people flying with stolen passports on the plane. You have the transponder going off. You have the plane going in almost the exact opposite direction.

It also raises questions about Malaysia itself. I mean, the fact that they allowed these two passengers on the plane with stolen passports and then when they realized this plane was totally off course, I guess for at least an hour and a half. I mean, if that was any other country in the world, I would think it would have scrambled jets. They would have put out notices to find out what was happening. Instead, as far as I know, they didn't even report that. And so today -- so there's really a lot of unanswered questions here.

BLITZER: Yes. We did hear from the commander of the U.S. Navy. At least one of the ships, the USS Kidd in the Pacific, involved in the search. Yesterday they were told by the Malaysian military that the plane did do a U-turn, and then they began taking a look on the other side of Malaysia where they had not been looking originally.

What I hear you saying is you don't have a whole lot of confidence in the Malaysian authorities, do you?

KING: No, so far they seem to have dropped the ball at every level. And I hate to be, you know, the Monday morning quarterback, but it appears as if they've done nothing right so far. Even if the navy was told about it yesterday, that's 48 hours after the fact. To me every minute counts here.

And that was such a key point, that the plane actually reversed course and was flying back over Malaysia toward Indonesia. I mean, why wasn't that made known? Why weren't jets scrambling? Why wasn't an alert put out on that immediately once they realized that was happening?

BLITZER: What about these two pilots, the pilot and the co-pilot? I'm sure they're taking a very close look at both of them, given the history of the Silk (ph) airliner. That went down because the pilot deliberately wanted to go down, an Egypt airliner that went down, because the pilot deliberately wanted to go down with all those passengers dead in the process.

What are you hearing about these two pilots?

KING: Well, again, I don't have details on the two pilots, per se, but I know they are being looked at very carefully. I know there's been some erratic behavior by at least one of these -- surely, unusual behavior about having people in the cockpit with him. That type thing.

But, no, I think that has to be considered. In fact, when this thing first broke -- this incident first broke on Saturday, I was talking to someone in the airline industry who found it, even then found it all very unusual. And that person said to me that she thought that this could have well have been a pilot suicide.

Now again, that's just one of the theories. But right now it's as good as any, since this is so unusual and nothing else has been explained.

BLITZER: You're on the House Homeland Security Committee. You're a team member. Has the U.S. done anything to beef up security in the aftermath of this Malaysia airliner mystery?

KING: There has been no specific steps taken so far. I mean, again, obviously we are more alert, if you will, but there's been no significant changes, but no official designation of a different status.

But obviously, in an event like this, it certainly causes everyone to focus more than they might have otherwise. You know, we should be focused all the time, but something like this causes us to focus more.

BLITZER: I raised the question, because you and I and others, we discussed at length before the Sochi Winter Olympic Games this alert that went out by the U.S., of toothpaste bombs, for example, being planted on planes in advance of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. In all the briefings you've had with U.S. intelligence, do you -- do you have any reason to believe there could be a connection between that public U.S. alert, and what happened here?

KING: No, so far the intelligence community has not been able to find any terrorist connections whatsoever. They're still looking. They're certainly not ruling it out. But so far, there has been nothing to indicate that.

BLITZER: Peter King is on the House Homeland Security Committee, also the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thanks very much.

KING: Wolf, thank you very much.

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