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ABC "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" - Transcript: Malaysia Flight 370

Interview

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STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Pierre Thomas, thanks very much.

Let's dig into this now with our experts. Congressman Peter King from the House committees on intelligence and homeland security; and ABC's aviation consultant Steve Ganyard.

And Congressman King, let me begin with you. This is a real frustration for the FBI.

KING: It really is. The fact is the FBI was not asked in. And you know these pilots they should have been -- pilot and co-pilot -- should have been the focus from the start. That would be ordinary law enforcement, investigatory procedures. The FBI could have been called to help that, Interpol could have been called in, our intelligence agencies.

But my understanding is that Malaysia is not really cooperating at all, are very reluctant to lay what they have out on the table.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you have been briefed on this. Is everything you heard consistent with what we were just reporting there? The focus is on the pilots. Basically, everyone else on the plane has been looked at. No terrorist connections, according to U.S. officials.

KING: Now there's been no terrorist connections whatsoever, there's been no terrorist chatter. There's nothing out there indicating it's terrorists. Doesn't mean it's not, but so far nothing has been picked up by the intelligence community from Day One.

I still have questions about the two Iranians who were on the plane. But again that could be a side issue.

The fact is nothing has come out indicating a terrorist connection.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's your biggest question about the Iranians?

KING: Just the fact that they were there and written off so quickly as having any threat. I mean, why did they have to get on that plane to seek asylum? The fact that it was so easy for them to get on with stolen passports. I just creates a terrorist atmosphere.

Having said that, there's nothing showing it. I just wouldn't rule it out now is all.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: So what is the next step now for U.S. authorities?

KING: Basically we have to get involved, we have to use all our intelligence. And I wish there was more FAA, NTSB, FBI involvement. I wish the FBI were over there.

This is going to be a criminal investigation as far as those -- the pilot and the co-pilot. We should use as much international law enforcement as possible. The FBI is the best at that.

But also other -- other -- again Interpol, a basic unit should be used. Malaysia, for whatever reason, has been resisting. There's obviously something with the pilot and the co-pilot. And that has to be drilled down on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to drill down on that now with Steven Ganyard as well. I'm going to give the other possibility if the pilot or the co-pilot didn't do this themselves. Of course there's the chance that someone got into the cockpit and forced them to do this at gunpoint.

But let's talk about that a little bit. Had that happened wouldn't the pilot have been able to switch the transponder to the hijacked distress signal?

GANYARD: Well, if somebody is looking over his shoulder and knew enough to say I want to go in this direction or I want to go to this waypoint. I mean, there's so much here that you would just say, look, this had to have been a trained pilot. Somebody had to know what they were doing.

The -- all these things occurred at the handoff between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic controllers. They knew there was this dead zone in there. They knew that they had some time to do all these premeditated actions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess my question there, though, is if there was a hijacker on the plane, wouldn't we have some kind of other indication of distress on that aircraft?

GANYARD: You would. You would. But at this point, we just don't. Everything points to one of those two crew members in the cockpit as a premeditated action.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and Congressman King, as far as I understand, they've been able to look back at everyone else on the aircraft and only, perhaps, one other person who had even the kind of aviation expertise...

KING: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- to know all this.

KING: Yes, so far, nothing is showing up at all. I mean I agree with the colonel, this right now, has to focus on the pilot and the copilot.

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