PunditFact: John Kerry on MH17 and Syria

St. Petersburg, Florida - The tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a huge topic of most of the Sunday programs, and Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on all five of them, making a case that the separatists were responsible. 10 News anchor Allison Kropff teams up with PunditFact to check two of his claims.

On Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry made a pretty strong case connecting Russia to the separatists in eastern Ukraine and connecting the group to the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Here's what he said:

"We know that the so-called defense minister of the People's Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging social media posting of having shot down a military transport. And then when it became apparent it was civilian, they pulled it down from social media."

Fact-checkers looked at his claim about what was posted on social media.

"The post went up about 30 minutes after the plane crashed and it was linked to videos that appeared to be the plane crash as well. Shortly after, the post was taken down and the theory is because it was a civilian plane, not a military plane. They took it down, because they didn't want to be tied to it," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

Because the post did appear on social media -- but it's impossible to know the rebel commander's role in the post -- PunditFact rates Kerry's claim, MOSTLY TRUE.

Now to Kerry's second claim. On Meet the Press, Kerry was defending the record of President Obama's administration abroad. Kerry listed accomplishments, including this one about Syria:

"We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out."

It was announced in June that this happened. But there's one caveat.

"There's another watchdog group that says this doesn't mean it's completely over. There are still some facilities that need to be demolished, and Syria has some discrepancies in its official report to the UN that it needs to clear up first," says Sanders.

Because PunditFact can't say for sure that all of the chemical weapons are out, PunditFact rates this claim: MOSTLY TRUE.


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