White House prepared to brief former Trump officials on 3 Chinese balloons during last administration
The Biden White House offered this week to brief former Trump administration officials on the details of three Chinese balloons that entered US airspace during the last presidency.
Officials from the Biden administration reported this week that during Trump’s presidency, there were three separate instances of Chinese balloons flying into United States airspace. Former Trump officials say they were unaware of the balloons at the time. The Biden White House has offered to brief them on the balloons. The offered briefings from the intelligence community would include information on previous incursions by China as well.
Former president Trump appeared on Fox News this weekend to deny there had been Chinese aircraft in US sovereign airspace, saying, “This never happened. It would have never happened. It never happened with us under the Trump administration, and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately. It’s disinformation.” His former administration officials say they were never briefed on any such incidents.
Defense officials say the balloons that entered US airspace during the Trump presidency did not remain over the United States for long. The White House says the balloon that was shot down this week off the coast of South Carolina is not the only surveillance balloon originating from China in the western hemisphere at the moment. We assess that a balloon was observed transiting Central and South America, and that that is another PRC surveillance balloon. These balloons are all part of a PRC fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations, which have also violated the sovereignty of other countries,” said a senior defense official this week.
China has condemned the US response to the balloon that floated over the country this week, saying Beijing reserves the right to respond in the same manner in similar circumstances.
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