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terror attack. >> it's too early to definitively say what may have caused this disaster. the investigation is under way. and investigators will consider all of the potential factors that could have contributed to the crash. and obviously if there's an opportunity for the united states government to support those efforts, then we will do that. and the president asked his team to keep him appraised of developments as they occur. >> josh ernest there at the white house. we begin with keir simmons who led our coverage last hour from charles de gaulle airport in paris. one of the biggest developments is this word from egyptair that they debris found could in fact be part of this plane. >> reporter: that's right. and at the same time, the news from u.s. officials that they believe that what they have seen through satellite images, the kind of coverage that u.s.
intelligence always has, what they have seen in the place where this plane disappeared was some kind of explosion. and of course what you're seeing here is a multi national attempt to find the wreckage, the debris, but also an attempt around the world to try to understand what happened. all of those governments will be talking to each other. for example, you heard the egyptians say they believe this is more likely to be terrorism related before we then got the news from u.s. officials of that possibility that there was an explosion on board. now, we just have to say that that explosion may not have been caused by terrorism. there are reasons why there could be an explosion on board an aircraft that isn't terrorism related. where the jigsaw is coming together as different parts of this operation, if you like, keep revealing small pieces of
information. and as we do get that information, it is looking more and more worrying, erika. >> indeed, it is. give us a sense, do you know at this hour what officials have been telling loved ones of those passengers on board? how much communication have they had? >> reporter: what we were witnessing when -- we weren't here, we're right by the runway here now. earlier, we were by a hotel where some of the families of the victims were staying. and we were witnessing, not just french officials, french government ministers arriving. i strongly suspect that they were coming in order to talk to those family members because we do know from experience that when something like this happens, it is crucial to inform those closest to it. the people who have lost loved ones, of the news that is being gathered before you release that news to the wider public. you'll remember back mh-270, there was a lot of concern and
controversy over why information was coming out that relatives had not been told about. there was even controversy over text messages being sent to relatives. that's the kind of thing a government like the french government doesn't want to see. so they will have been making an effort to tell those close to people on board before they tell all of us. >> so important that that is done, done properly and with the greatest sensitivity. keir simmons live at charles de gaulle airport. keir, thank you. kerry sanders is in washington with more on the investigation into egyptair 804 and also on the plane. keir just used the word jigsaw as we are learning more and more, if there is in fact debris, that is probably going to give us the best information if they can see anything on those pieces of debris obviously. >> of course. and among the pieces of debris that is sort of the piece of gold here, if there's one piece
of the puzzle, it's this. it's known as the black box. it has the flight data recorder information in here and the conversations of the pilot, co-pilot, and their transmissions. also what they might be talking about in the cockpit. if the area where they found this debris floating off the island of karpathos is the area where most of this debris showered down, the depth is 1 to 2 miles down. that's not inaccessible are remotely operated vehicles. by it's very difficult to find something of this size in an area of we don't know how large it is. we do know the timeline of the actual flight though. first of all, at around 8:30 is when they had the last contact with the flight. that's when the pilots are talking on the radio and they're speaking with the authorities in greece at air traffic control. at 8:40, shortly thereafter, where they had passed over from
the greek air traffic control to the egyptian air traffic control, they disappeared from the radar. there were attempts to get them on the radio, 8:50, repeatedly trying to get ahold of them and realizing they were unsuccessful in that. we can understand that this is not an uncommon plane in service. this was its fifth flight of the day. that's not unissue. the a320 in service around the world. and the pilots had a tremendous amount of experience. the pilot himself had more than 6,000 hours behind the stick of planes and more than 3,000 behind this airplane. and the co-pilot almost 2,700 plus hours. there's no question of this point of any focus on the pilots. finally, 66 people were on the plane. we do know that 57 of them were the passengers including a child and some infants.
at this point, just a lot of broken hearts. while they're calling it still a search and rescue. it's really at this point a search. the idea of somebody at 27,000 feet making it down in a seat if they were strapped in and hitting the water and surviving is really next to impossible. anybody who has those hopes of course would be a family member believing there might be some possibility. really, the physics of all of this say it is not likely at all. >> certainly understandable that it is not likely and also that for the loved ones they don't want to give up that glimmer of hope. so as kerry mentioned, this is a large area. search and rescue teams have their work cut out for them. the sun has now set across the mediterranean. we want to bring in our meteorologist. we know that the weather at the time that this plane was going through was fairly mild, no real weather issues. as we look into tonight and tomorrow morning, what kind of
conditions will searchers be facing. >> the weather conditions themselves won't be the trick, trying to find out where this debris field is going to go. now they got to figure out where the currents are bringing this debris and where it's already gone. here's crete, here's karpathos. the area that they've really focused in on appears to be right about there. this map shows us what the surface currents are in the mediterranean. in general, they're ail heading towards the east. but then you see these lines. they got eddies out here. some of these begin to curve to the north, they split off. this line will then continue all the way back up and to the east of cyprus, almost to the coastline of israel. the currents are much different, they're kind of widespread. the longer this goes, the more spread out all of this debris will get throughout this region. here's a closer up map.
still has a ways until you get to the cyprus area. this isn't a fast drift. this is a slow drift that all this stuff will be moving. we mention the clouds out to the west. we're waiting to see if those will slide over into the forecast area. they should do that tomorrow. the question is at what time. they're six hours ahead of east coast time. this is friday morning in cairo. this is through the afternoon, clouds popping up. some rain near crete. but the key is during the daylight hours from 5:00 a.m. tomorrow until the sunsets right around 6:45 p.m., it looks like relatively clear skies throughout the region. the sun just set at 6:44, about an hour ago, and the sunrise tomorrow morning will be at 4:59 a.m. the other two things we have to watch out for, they're going to listen for the sonar to try to find out where the black box is. that x on the map is somewhere close to a depth of 10,000 feet. closer to the island, gets
deeper considerably. closer to the coastline of egypt, it gets a little bit more shallow. there was one that took two years to find that was at 13,000 feet. this one hopefully shallower and easier to find. and the final thing, in the miracle of all miracles, not only if they survive the wreckage, but as the hours go by, surviving in water temperatures of 68 degrees is a difficult thing to do. at max, it would be 40 hours. that's the high end of the scale. >> nbc's meteorologist putting a lot in there. bill, thank you. want to bring in retired nbc news aviation correspondent bob hager and counterterrorism analyst, good to have both of you with us. we're getting more information at this hour. we heard initially from officials in egypt. they believed it was more likely
related to terror. from what you've seen, would you agree with that assessment? >> it's really hard to tell right now, especially that no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. also, there is actually very little chatter from online jihadists about whether this was indeed carried out by isis or some other radical faction. time has not run out. there is still plenty of time for isis to claim responsibility for the attack if it indeed was behind downing this jetliner. there is absolutely no confirmation right now. it's all speculative. >> it's also interesting to look at the passengers who were on board, that the majority of these 56 passengers, 66 in total with the crew and of course those security folks, that the majority of them were egyptian. how does that come into play as we look at the possibility of terror? >> well, if it indeed was a terrorist act carried out by isis, this would actually create a significant backlash of any
negative sentiment against isis from the arab and muslim world and specifically from egyptians who have been battling in north sinai, pretty unsuccessfully in the past several months. this would definitely create a negative backlash. i don't think isis really cares about that considering that the grand majority of their victims have been muslims in the first place. >> greg, as we look at this plane in particular, it's an a320. been in service with egyptair since 2008. so in the 24 hours leading up to this event, it had made a couple different stops. we know it was in tunis, ultimately making its way to paris. when a plane is coming into paris from tunisia, is the protocol any different to go through that aircraft than a plane arriving from jfk or london? >> can't be positive about this, but i imagine that there's one standard procedure that they use
for all the aircraft. meantime, on the investigation itself, i think we're pretty early on into this, i mean, less than a day out. still in the same 24-hour period since it disappeared. first, there's that important radar information that shows this plane was going along regular flight, all of a sudden, the radar shows it just drops from the sky suddenly and precipitously. second that key intelligence report that's an hour or so old from intelligence sources that they are spy equipment appears to show that there was some kind of explosion. that still doesn't tell you was it a bomb or mechanical explosion. and third, we've got the indications of that -- the pieces of wreckage that they've seen so far. that's going to be very important because it gets them into the right area where hopefully they find some more wreckage. the key thing is not going to be the wreckage on the surface, but
to get down below, try to find the black box recorders or the pieces of the crucial wreckage at the bottom of the mediterranean. >> that would hold so many clues as to how it broke up. bob, you mentioned that many things could have happened when this explosion that was seen on this imaging, it could have been a bomb, something mechanical. what could have happened mechanically or from a technical standpoint to an aircraft at 37,000 feet? >> what comes to mind right away is the twa crash off of long island back in the 1990s. it would give you some of the same signs. signs of an explosion and the plane suddenly breaking up in pieces and going down. otherwise, i think of egyptair back in the 1980s where the pilot took it in on purpose or happened more recently with
germanwings. back to the egyptair incident, it was all of a sudden. shoved forward the stick and down it went suddenly. those are two kinds of things that could give you some of the same external scenario as the early clues in this one. but this scenario appears much more likely to have been terrorism. >> appreciate both of you joining us, appreciate your expertise this hour, thank you. up next, new information about indications of an explosion as we were just talking about. nbc's pete williams will join me with more on the other side of this break. stay with us. of properties, rebel and key can wing it all the way to jordan and chelsea's wedding. rumble! road trip. there she is. uh oh, oh, oh, oh, what? so here is our road trip itinerary. what's this? a bunch of different places... nah, bro. we gotta go off-script. rip to shreds every motel, cabin and teepee, between here and the wedding. now get out of my seat. alright. (screams) road trip! whahhhh hahaha...
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miles off the coast of crete. u.s. officials saying there are indications of an explosion in the area. no terror group has claimed responsibility. the pentagon updated reporters on its efforts to determine a cause. >> there's nothing we can rule in, nothing we can rule out. this is still early in investigation. the egyptians and the french are taking the lead on this. we have nothing really at this point that leads us to any conclusions. >> want to bring in justice correspondent pete williams with new information on those strong indications of an explosion. where specifically is that information coming from and what did it show us? >> well, i think the point here is that there's nothing conclusive here. that's one thing that officials stress. they don't know what caused the plane to go down. they don't know for a fact that there was an explosion. what they say is that looking at some data that's available to
the u.s. from a variety of sources, strongly suggests that there was an explosion in that area at the time the plane went down. now, i should hasten to add that military officials say the satellites that look for extremely bright thermal signatures, the kind of satellites that look for missile launches, for example, did not notice any kind of bright flash at that time, but what we're told is that other available data to the u.s. suggests there was an explosion. so this is all very tentative, nothing conclusive. suggestive from some data. the military says they don't see it. it's the sort of typical thing you get in the early stages of this where you're looking at lots of different data and it doesn't all line up in a row. of course these officials hasten to add that if in fact there was an explosion, that doesn't tell you what caused it, which is an
obvious point, but still one that has to be made. >> and an important point that we were talking about before the break with bob hager. it could have been from something mechanical, could have been from a bomb. we're very much in the early stages and while we have a fair amount of information based on other similar events, we are still very early on in the stages here. nbc's pete williams, thanks as always. still to come, a live report from the pentagon taking a look at the u.s. navy's role in this investigation. stay with us. what's it like to be in good hands? like finding new ways toe taken care of. home, car, life insurance obviously, ohhh... but with added touches you can', like claim free rewards... or safe driving bonus checks. even a cim satisfaction guaranteeeeeeeeeee! in means protectioplus unique extras only from
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also playing a role. >> we have a variety of assets and personnel in the region and we have a host of capabilities. and we will be reviewing everything possible that could be helpful in the course of this investigation in terms of the immediate presence there, we did not have any ships immediately in the area, but we do have a presence in the region. and the most immediate thing we could do to be helpful in support of the search was the deployment of this aircraft and that aircraft is still right now conducting search operations. >> nbc's couney joins us live from the pentagon. we heard about the variety of assets and personnel, but this one plane in particular that was able to assist fairly quickly. how exactly is the u.s. military helping at this hour? >> so the plane that peter cook was referencing there is the u.s. navy p-3 orion. it's a turbo prop generally used
for anti-submarine warfare. it can fly maritime missions over the sea, over the water, or it can fly over land. it was deployed relatively quickly from an air station nearby at the request of greek authorities who asked for help in search and rescue efforts over the med. it's been on station now for a couple of hours. it's a long-range aircraft that has the capability of being on station for about six hours doing search and rescue. it has the ability to send back imagery, pictures, video, and whatnot. peter cook mentioned there were not a lot of naval assets in the area. there actually are a couple of ships in the med. the u.s.s. donald cook is a destroyer in the waters nearby. there's the sixth fleet, the flag ship, u.s.s. mt. whitney
and then there's a military sea lift command ship which is the usns grapple. it is a salvage ship. it has the capability of sending divers on board, civilian divers or navy divers doing aircraft salvage. it's not been called in, but the u.s. navy has that capability. they also have several other aircraft nearby in greece they've called in. >> definitely a fair amount of resources as you point out right there in the region ready to go. courtney, thanks. >> thank you. still do come, we will go live to greece for more on the latest on the search that is unfolding in the mediterranean. what are the plans as we move forward? we'll get you caught up to speed on the other side of this break. and by taking chantix, i was able to quit in 3 months
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hour now as we continue to update our breaking news. search efforts have found wreckage from what is believed to be egyptair flight 804. that was found several hundred miles off the coastline of crete. there are strong indications of an explosion in the area where the plane lost contact. the paris to cairo flight took off just after 11:00 p.m. local time. contact was lost about 30 minutes out from landing. no terror group has claimed responsibility. secretary of state john kerry expressed his sorrow at the loss of life. >> i want to express my condolences to egypt and to all other countries impacted by the disappearance earlier this morning of the egyptair flight over the mediterranean. the united states is providing assistance in the search effort, and relevant authorities are doing everything they can to try
to find out what the facts are of what happened today. >> nbc's in crete where at least one of the assets being used in the search is based. as we can see from behind you, it is pitch black there, night has fallen. we know the sun will be up fairly early. what is the plan for first thing in the morning as this search and recovery effort continues? >> reporter: well, erika, the search and rescue operation of course has turned into a search and recovery operation especially after egyptair and the foreign ministry in egypt has confirmed that those two debris are most probably part of the missing plane. now the search and recovery operation has been called af for the day. it is pitch dark. it's about 9:30 in the evening here in crete. tomorrow morning, with daylight, there is at least a c-130
airplane that landed back here in crete that will go back to the location where the debris were found in the hope that more pieces of the wreckage, more pieces of the plane will be found. now, that's a problem because even though of course the fact that those pieces of debris were found in a specific area, it gives a lead at least to investigators where they going to go back to. well, you have to consider that overnight of course there are currents in the mediterranean, maybe they will take the debris away, heavier pieces of the wreckage may just sink even deeper in the mediterranean. so the greek authorities will really need all the help they can find because this is like finding a needle in a hay stack, erika. >> it is. and especially as you point out with the currents there. that is a major challenge. we saw some of those maps in the last hour. in terms of support, has there been additional support that you know of that will be coming in in the morning? >> reporter: well, indeed, the
u.s. already has offered support today. it has sent out an aircraft, a p-3 from the u.s. navy air base in sicily. it has joined at least two other aircrafts that were deployed by the greek authorities to scan wide area of the mediterranean to look for debris there. that airplane will still be deployed tomorrow. now, there are also the u.s. has three u.s.s. ships in the area in the mediterranean, the u.s.s. donald cook and the grapple. they were here already for other purposes, but if the greek authority asks for them, for their help, of course they could help out. another vessel deployed by the greek authorities that could eventually recover this pieces of depree. as i said, they will really need
all the help they can find. >> that they will. live in crete tonight. thank you. turning now to reaction here in the u.s. nbc news has learned the tsa has no plans to increase security measures at airports in the wake of the egyptair crash. we're live at chicago o'hare international airport. you've been speaking to passengers there. are they concerned at all over what we've been seeing and covering over the last 15 hours or so? >> reporter: i'd say there's concern about what happened overseas, but also some confidence in u.s. security that it won't happen here. the talk here at chicago o'hare has been these incredible lines we've been seeing. there has been a noticeable shift in conversation towards security. tsa says that they have no plans at this point to change security procedures. that is because until they know exactly what caused that egyptair plane to go down, they
won't know what if any specific changes need to be made to security at home. take a listen to what some passengers are saying. >> i'm real afraid about this situation. i think it's pretty hard to control this kind of situation with the flights. but in general, i'm comfortable. i can travel abroad. >> i really don't have worries about things like that. usually don't. >> always i'm concerned because there's so much happening in the world. but nothing you can do about it. so we have to fly, we have to. >> reporter: now, tsa administrator peter neffenger is scheduled to come here to chicago tomorrow. we now expect this to be added
to the agenda. all along, he has warned that we cannot shrink lines at the expense of security. he says security has to be the top concern for his screeners as they get people through, this will certainly back up those claims with what we've seen today and reports of an explosion. we'll see if he has anything additional to add tomorrow. >> blake mccoy live for us. thank you. we're also following reaction on the campaign trail and in washington. here's house speaker paul ryan earlier today. >> we do not now know just what happened. we will withhold judgment until we have all of the facts. the thoughts of the whole house are with the families of those on board. >> nbc's hallie jackson is in new jersey with more on the reaction from the campaign trail. donald trump is holding an event there later today. he was pretty quick to put out a statement. >> reporter: early this morning, erika, he was up and at it on
twitter tweeting out that this looks like some sort of terror attack. now, obviously as we've been taking about, there's no confirmation yet that the egyptair crash has been linked to terrorism at this point. he will be in lawrenceville here tonight. it's his first public remarks that we've seen since may 7th. he will be appearing with governor chris christie who has made national security and made fighting against terror a center piece of his campaign back when christie was in the race. it's not just donald trump that we're hearing from now, though, about this news of the egyptair crash. hillary clinton within the last hour has weighed in. here's what she had to say. >> it does appear that it was an act of terrorism, exactly how of course the investigation will have to determine. but it -- once again shines a bright light on the threats that we face from organized terror groups. isis of course, but then there are other networks of terrorists that have to be hunted down and defeated.
i think it reinforces the need for american leadership, for the kind of smart, steady leadership that only america can provide in working with our allies, partners, friends in europe, the middle east and elsewhere. >> do you think that donald trump is qualified to be president? >> no, i do not. the kinds of positions he is stating and the consequences of those positions and even the consequences of his statements are not just offensive to people, they are potentially dangerous. >> how so? >> reporter: so clinton there talking about not just the crash, erika, but also her view that donald trump is not qualified to be president. this is something fairly new that we're hearing now from hillary clinton against donald trump. we've reached out to the trump campaign for comment. it underscores just how much of a centerpiece and role national security and the fight against
terror will take in this general election campaign is hillary clinton is in fact ending up as the democratic nominee. >> hallie, thank you. this is the second incident involving an egyptair plane in just a matter of months. we have more on that next. ng a . amazing is moving like one. real is making new friends. amazing is getting this close. real is an animal rescue. amazing is over twenty-seven thousand of them. there is only one place where real and amazing live. seaworld. real. amazing hi mom! hi! every mom is a coach... an artist... sometimes even a zoologist. every mom is a working mom... and it's working moms everywhere who inspired us to work harder.
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[pilot] that's not good. [man] that's really not good. [burke] it happened august fourteenth,2008, and we covered it.talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ as we continue to follow major developments in the crash of egyptair flight 804, one of the most important coming out in the last hour or so is the airline now saying search efforts have located wreckage. u.s. intelligence meantime says there are strong indications of an explosion in the area where that cairo bound flight, took off from paris, last was. it disappeared from radar about 30 minutes from landing. that's when authorities lost contact with it. earlier today, the white house expressing sympathies for the families of those on board flight 804. >> let me start by offering our
thoughts and prayers to the families of those aboard egyptair flight 804. the uncertainty and creeping sense of loss that the loved ones of those lost on the plane must be experiencing right now is painful to even contemplate. >> as search and recovery efforts continue in the mediterranean, there are questions about the security preparedness of egyptair. i know you've been looking into -- this is not the first incident that we've seen with an egyptair plane and there has been criticism in the past in terms of how the airline handled communication and investigation on some of these events. >> there's been two areas of focus. one is airport security. that's often run by the egyptian government under the airlines and then you have egyptair lines. there are several examples of
this. as we mentioned over the course of the last 30, 40 years, there have been numerous incidents involving egyptair including hijackings to fatal crashes, catastrophic crashes. most recently you had the hijacking in march where an egyptian airline was hijacked, diverted to cyprus. you had that incident in 1999, that was notorious one because u.s. officials at that time said it was as a result of pilot deliberately taking the plane down, killing everybody on board. the egyptian government disputed that saying it was a result of mechanical failure. in recent times, you had the russian airliner that took off from sharm el sheikh airport and that raced questions in general. as a result of that, it took several days for the egyptian government to acknowledge that it was the result of an explosive device put on the
plane. keep in mind, the news that it may have been a terrorist attack actually came out of western intelligence agencies before the egyptian government acknowledged it. that has been some criticism levelled against the egyptian government in the past, particularly the civil aviation ministry. they are very slow to bring out information and sometimes the reports don't come down until months down the road. by that time, the spotlight has shifted away from the cause for it. the egyptian officials are urging everyone to kind of wait and see what the cause of this explosion according to some intelligence officials are now saying it is, whether it was terrorist related, bomb related, some kind of mechanical explosion on the flight. nonetheless, there has been criticism levelled against security at some of egypt's airports, which the government denies saying it's in line with international standards. there has been questions about the security on egyptair itself
as an airline and some of the people it ploys. >> in terms of security, i know while the official word identify egypt was that there was not an issue with the security, has any of it changed, especially since the plane out of sharm el sheikh? have we seen anything different in terms of security at egypt's airports? >> egyptian officials will tell you security was very tight before that incident and reinforced it after the incident. there's no doubt security had been beefed up around many of the airports in the country, particularly where you saw tourists arriving from outside of the country like sharm el sheikh. that included beefing up a perimeter outside of the airport. you covered the incident in brussels. people were able to get all the way up to the ticket counters. in egypt, that's different. you can't get to the airport without being screened by security in your car with your
bags before getting onto the airport grounds. those are some of the changes that have recently happened. they have once again screened all of the employees, verified all of their identities and backgrounds and reissued security, i guess, reviews or licenses for those operating in those airports. >> stay with us. i want to bring into the conversation former ntsb senior investigator greg feith. the security situation, the response criticism that we've seen, when you look at something like an airport in egypt and also an airline like egyptair, how would you classify both the security on the ground there at the airport and the security that we're seeing with some of these planes? >> well, there are a lot of protocols that have been put in place. this is really a national embarrassment. if this latest event comes to be a terrorist act and there was a device on there that caused an
explosion and brought that airplane down, egypt has more than just a credibility problem. they got a security issue and of course the tourism business, because that's what they depend on, could be significantly impacted because nobody's going to trust them. >> what about the french end of it, though? if this plane originated in paris, what is your concern on that end? >> you got to be careful. while it did originate in paris, there could have been some sort of event that took place there that put a device on. but this airplane, this was the fifth flight of the day. so there are three other, four other legs to be looking at. maybe the security isn't as good there. the bad guys may know it. they may have put something on it with a timing device. and throughout the day this airplane flew, nine, ten, 11 hours, and it was at that time on this last leg that the device went off. we can't be too quick to judgment in paris. we have to look at everything. that's what investigators from the security side will be
looking at. from the technical side, they're going to have to determine exactly what brought this aircraft down. whether it was a mechanical explosion that led to an explosion or it was a nefarious act and a terroristic act. >> as a former investigator, what is the number one question in your mind at this hour based on everything we know at this point? >> the number one question is really where the wreckage is. finding the wreckage is going to give us indication of whether or not there was some sort of ex-plow sieve event. we want to know exactly what type. was it a bomb or was it of course a mechanical malfunction. now, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder aren't going to tell us that necessarily. they're going to give us a history of what that airplane was doing up to that point, but of course it's not going to tell us what happened after that. and of course it's not going to
tell us why. >> greg feith, appreciate you both being with us this hour. thanks again. stay with us. we're going to be right back with more. a real pencil. i've been a forensic artist for over 30 years. i do the composite sketches which are the bad guy sketches. you need good resolution, powerful processor because the computer has to start thinking as fast as my brain does. i do this because i want my artwork to help people.
u.s. officials to reach out to their international counterparts to offer support and assistance in the search and recovery effort for the missing egyptian jetliner. joining us now with more from outside the white house, nbc's ron allen. what more are you hearing there at the white house, ron? >> reporter: it's been a very measured approach here at the white house. the white house is really not trying to draw conclusions or feed into any speculation whether or whether this was not a terrorist attack. as you said, the president's directed numerous federal agencies to reach out to their counterparts abroad to see what assistance can be offered but not taking the lead in the
operation nor in the search and rescue. there's a naval aircraft involved to find the debris and identify any survivors, if in fact that is a possibility at this point. also, investigators from the tsa have been involved and homeland security have been involved in work at numerous airports around europe including charles de gaulle and the airport in cairo to step up security especially on flights that begin there and end in the united states. the flight in question was not coming to the united states. so the united states is taking a different role than it would otherwise. here's some of what josh ernest had to say about the u.s. role in the investigation. >> this obviously took place near graeek waters so there are reasons why there are owe countries who were immediately responsible for dealing with the situation. given the strong relationships between the united states and france and the united states and
egypt, i'm confident we'll be able to provide them the needed support. >> reporter: these are strong relationships based on intelligence sharing and concern about the threat of isis. there has been onion going cooperation between the united states, france, egypt, belgium, other european countries as well since those terrorist attacks. unclear what exactly caused this plane to come down. the united states very involved. very diligent trying to understand the causes of this. but again, the u.s. also trying to offer reassurances that in airports that originate there and head to the united states, the tsa and homeland security have been trying to put enhanced security in place and do airport assessments to make sure those flights coming to the united states are as safe as possible. still a lot of questions about what happened to this particular egyptair flight. >> ron, thank you. and just to recap for you as we
head to the next hour here of course, we will have complete coverage continuing on msnbc on egyptair flight 804. this airbus a320. 66 people on board, the majority of them were egyptian. that plane disappeared essentially just about half an hour out from cairo. within just the last couple of hours, we're learning from egyptair that floating materials were found in the mediterranean off of crete and characterized as likely the wreckage. some life jackets and plastic objects. we will continue to follow all of the very latest. i'm erika hill. stay with us. thomas roberts picks up today's breaking news on the other side of this break.
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the question being was it a deliberate act that brought this plane down or was it mechanical failure. a senior u.s. intelligence official telling msnbc there are strong indications an explosion brought down that flight. this is not confirmation, however, a strong indication and a working theory of what happened to this airbus a320. egypt's administration saying a terror attack is more likely than a mechanical failure. egyptian authorities believe some wreckage found in the mediterranean was from this plane. and this new video showing a u.s. navy aircraft taking off from sicily, italy, searching, a part of this recovery mission. we start in paris where that flight took off yesterday. keir, you're at charles de gaulle airport. what is the reaction that is happening now as we start to learn more on this working