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Let the speculation begin: MSNBC spends 5 minutes blaming hackers for plane crash in French Alps

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Just hours after the news broke that a Germanwings Airbus A320 had crashed in a remote area of the French Alps on Monday, MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart spent five minutes talking to a guest about why the tragedy could be due to malicious “hacking.”

Viewers of 24-hour news are used to seeing networks struggle to fill airtime during tragic events. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart mocked CNN for dispatches from what he called the “Duh Room” after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year. And one Fox News host even guessed that AirAsia Flight QZ8501 could have crashed because of the metric system.

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But it was MSNBC on Tuesday that may have won the race for baseless speculation following the Germanwings tragedy.

“There’s one possibility that no one has brought up, and I wonder could this be a hacking incident?” former commercial pilot Jay Rollins told MSNBC’s Diaz-Balart. “This is very similar in my mind to what happened when the U.S. lost that drone over Iran. The same thing, suddenly the aircraft was responding to outside forces.”

“And if something like that were going on, it would be very distracting for the pilots,” he explained. “I think we’ll learn a lot with the black boxes because we need to know what they were seeing in the cockpits since we can’t hear what they were thinking otherwise.”

Rollins said that the plane’s descent was “worrisome” because “it makes me think about hacking, some sort of interference into the computer system.”

“And there’s been discussions about this for sometime now. And we still haven’t gotten any resolution whether these aircraft are protected from that or not.”

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Diaz-Balart wondered if the pilot and co-pilot could take manual control of a plane if the problem was “manmade or the computers just malfunction.”

“This is the brave new world that we’re entering as we use more and more computerization in an age when people are hacking,” Rollins insisted. “In a fully computerized electrical setup like what you see in the Airbus and also the Boeing 787, these are aircraft that are controlled by computers.”

“So when the pilot puts in any sort of change for the aircraft flight controls, it first goes through the computer that mediates it, then tells the controls what to do. I find it problematic actually.”

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“So to distill this, there is no manual override on the A320?” Diaz-Balart pressed.

“I cannot absolutely confirm that at this point,” Rollins admitted. “But I know that it is an electrically driven aircraft. And therefore, you would not have a hydraulic override if the plane for some reason locked up.”

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Watch the video below from MSNBC, broadcast March 24, 2015.


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‘Quiet!’ Trump erupts as reporters question him about witness intimidation — and demands ‘freedom of speech’

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President Donald Trump on Friday got into a testy exchange with reporters after they asked him whether his angry tweet at former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch constituted witness intimidation.

While talking with reporters, Trump falsely claimed that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had been prevented from asking questions during Yovanovitch's testimony.

"We have the right to speak!" the president fumed. "I have freedom of speech just as other people do but they have taken away the Republicans rights. I watched today as certain very talented people, who wanted to ask questions, and they weren’t even allowed to ask questions, Republicans. They weren’t allowed to ask questions."

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GOP lawmaker ducks question after Yovanovitch asks why it was necessary to smear her reputation

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Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) on Friday got more than he bargained for while questioning former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Toward the end of his questioning, Wenstrup argued that President Donald Trump has the power to hire and dismiss ambassadors as he sees fit in order to enact his preferred foreign policy.

"The president has the right to make their own foreign policy and to make his own decisions, and with that I yield back," he said.

Yovanovitch, however, was unwilling to let it end there and she asked to supplement her testimony.

"While I obviously don't dispute that the president has the right to withdraw an ambassador at any time for any reason, but what I do wonder is why it was necessary to smear my reputation?" she asked Wenstrup.

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‘Everyone he touches gets tainted’: CNN panel astonished by number of criminally convicted Trump allies

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A CNN panel on Friday stood in awe at the number of President Donald Trump's allies who have been convicted of crimes ever since his election in 2016.

During a panel discussion about Trump ally Roger Stone's conviction on seven criminal counts that included witness intimidation, perjury, and obstruction of justice, CNN host Anderson Cooper said it was astonishing how many of the people who helped the president get elected have wound up in jail.

"In your own life, how many people are you close to in your orbit who have been convicted of crimes?" Cooper asked and then listed off former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

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