The CEO of a Canadian food company took aim President Donald Trump over the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet by Iran on Sunday, blaming the U.S. for destabilizing the region and inflaming tensions with Tehran and suggesting that the president is ultimately responsible for the crash.
In a series of scathing tweets, Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain wrote that he was “very angry” at Trump and blamed him for the deaths of dozens of Canadians citizens, including the family of an employee of his company, in the jet crash that Iran’s government says was unintentionally caused by its defensive weaponry.
Fifty-seven Canadians were among 176 people killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by Iran’s armed forces.
“I’m Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and these are personal reflections. I am very angry, and time isn’t making me less angry,” he tweeted.
“A narcissist in Washington tears world accomplishments apart; destabilizes region. US now unwelcomed everywhere in the area including Iraq; tensions escalated to feverish pitch. Taking out despicable military leader terrorist? There are a hundred like him, standing next in line,” he continued.
“The collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous, ill-conceived behavior? 63 Canadians needlessly lost their lives in the crossfire, including the family of one of my MLF colleagues (his wife + 11 year old son)!” McCain tweeted.
“We are mourning and I am livid,” he concluded.
…U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes. The world knows Iran is a dangerous state, but the world found a path to contain it; not perfect but by most accounts it was the right direction…
— Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods) January 13, 2020
The Ukrainian plane was shot down just minutes after taking off from Tehran airport, just hours after Iran launched missile strikes against Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad the week before.
Iranian anti-aircraft teams were on high alert in the hours after the strike, and an operator reportedly mistook flight 752 for a U.S. aircraft.
Trump has claimed that Soleimani was killed to prevent “imminent” attacks against four American embassies in the Middle East.
But the administration has failed to provide evidence to support the explanation, and on Sunday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper contradicted the president when he said he had not seen evidence suggesting four embassies were being threatened.
In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Current, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino commented on McCain’s tweets, saying: “I think his statement certainly taps into and reflects the anger that is being felt by the families and by Canadians right across the country.”