Trump Officials Admit Chinese Spy Balloons Flew Over U.S. During Previous Administration According To Latest Report

The Chinese spy balloon that floated over the U.S. last week before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday kicked off quite a debate about whether such a thing would’ve happened under President Donald Trump’s administration. And while several reports insisted Chinese spy balloons did, in fact, enter U.S. airspace under Trump, we now have a new report that give more detail about what happened.

Bloomberg News just published a new article citing numerous unnamed officials who served under President Trump, acknowledging that Chinese spy balloons were indeed spotted during his tenure near Texas, Florida, Hawaii and the territory of Guam. Balloons also flew near Norfolk, Virginia as well as Coronado, California, according to Bloomberg, two sites with extremely sensitive military equipment such as aircraft carriers.

“The balloons that overflew Guam and Norfolk were thought to have radar-jamming capabilities, while the flights near Norfolk, where the U.S. stations aircraft carriers, came around the time China was launching its own such vessel,” the new report from Bloomberg explains.

But Bloomberg is quick to note that the aircraft spotted at these facilities differed from the balloon spotted last week in one key way: They were much smaller during the Trump administration. In fact, when they were spotted under Trump, officials weren’t quite sure what to make of them, calling them “unidentified aerial phenomena,” according to Bloomberg. That’s a fancy word for what would’ve been called a UFO by earlier generations.

Trump officials apparently weren’t sure the balloons were actually from China, though signs pointed that way, Bloomberg reports. Publicly, Trump officials who’ve gone on the record during TV interviews have denied that any Chinese balloon entered U.S. airspace during the Trump administration.

“I can nearly guarantee you that that balloon would not still be flying if we were still there,” Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under Trump, told Sean Hannity on Friday.

Why does any of this matter? Because many commentators decided to turn the Chinese spy balloon into a political football, insisting something like that would never happen under Trump and that the MAGA president would’ve instantly shot any balloon down. Fox News host Laura Ingraham, in a typical complaint on the network, said it was a test for President Biden and that he failed.

Curiously, we still don’t know why swarms of drones flew over Colorado and Nebraska in December 2019 and January 2020. And it’d be great to get an answer to that before it happens again.

Whatever your politics, it’s important to get the facts straight before hurling accusations about what a given administration did or didn’t do. As we now know, Trump experienced a similar situation and didn’t do anything to shoot them down. But that’s not going to stop people like Trump from insisting they’re big and tough. Bigly tough, even.