POLITICS
05/19/2016 03:13 pm ET Updated May 20, 2016

Hillary Clinton Says EgyptAir Crash Seems Like An 'Act Of Terrorism'

Authorities have yet to determine why the plane went down.

Democratic presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared her thoughts on the crash of EgyptAir Flight MS804 over the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday.

"It does appear that it was an act of terrorism -- exactly how, of course, the investigation will have to determine," Clinton told CNN's Chris Cuomo in an interview Thursday afternoon.

The EgyptAir flight vanished from radar Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo. There were 66 people on board. The plane disappeared just a few minutes after it entered Egyptian airspace.

Search teams were looking for wreckage from the plane late Thursday. Egyptian officials said that searchers found debris from the flight, but Greek authorities refuted that, saying the materials in question are not from an airplane. It's not yet clear why Flight MS804 went down, but authorities have not ruled out terrorism as a possible cause.

Clinton took that view Thursday, speculating that we are once again witnessing an incident that "shines a very bright light on the threats that we face from organized terror groups."

She called for a strong response in the form of "American leadership, the kind of smart, steady leadership that only America can provide working with our allies, our partners, our friends in Europe and the Middle East and elsewhere."

Clinton also outlined her plan for dealing with terror groups like the militant organization that calls itself the Islamic State. She said the right response would be to defeat them on the ground, drive them out of Iraq and cooperate with "just about every nation right now" to intensify intelligence-gathering and law enforcement operations.

"We are really grappling with and I think succeeding at making it more difficult for them to operate from their strongholds," she said.

The conversation then turned to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, whose incendiary remarks and lack of foreign policy experience have caused many to worry about how he would behave if elected.

Clinton said that Trump's provocative statements "actually make this task [of defeating ISIS] more difficult. It sends a message of disrespect, and it sends a message that makes the situation inside those countries more difficult."

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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To read more EgyptAir coverage in French, visit Le Huffington Post. For Greek coverage, visit HuffPost Greece.

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