Contrary winds have buffeted an allegation that the Trump administration was aware of Chinese surveillance balloons crossing the United States.
According to a new Fox News story citing a “senior administration official,” even though balloons entered the United States when President Donald Trump was in office, “they went undetected.”
The official stated, “Two things can be true at once: this happened and it wasn’t detected.”
The official stated that “U.S. intelligence, not the Biden administration,” determined that “PRC [People’s Republic of China] government surveillance balloons transited the continental U.S. briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time.”
The official stated, “This information was discovered after the [Trump] administration left.”
Politico said that “Other senior Biden administration officials say it’s possible senior Trump figures weren’t briefed on those incursions. In some cases, devices were smaller and were only in U.S. airspace for short periods of time — making them harder to detect. And in others, some surmised that the information didn’t filter up to the top because the overflights weren’t significant enough.”
The Biden administration, widely criticized for its handling of the Chinese spy balloon episode, attempted to lure Trump into a press briefing on Saturday.
“(The People’s Republic of China) government surveillance balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time,” a defense official said.
Trump responded indignantly.
“This never happened. It would have never happened,” Trump remarked.
“It never happened with us under the Trump administration and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately. It’s disinformation,” he said.
According to a breakdown of comments shared by The Hill, some Trump-era officials expressed surprise at the assertion.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“I don’t know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I’d never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018. I haven’t heard of anything that occurred after I left either,” former national security adviser John Bolton said. CONTINUE READING…