Latest 2 objects shot down by US were balloons, Schumer says

American officials believe officials believe that the latest two aerial objects shot down by the US were balloons, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the New York Democrat said he was briefed on the incidents by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Saturday night.

When asked point-blank by host George Stephanopoulos if the objects shot down on Friday and Saturday were balloons, Schumer acknowledged that’s what he was told.

“They believe they were, yes, but much smaller than the — than the one — the first one,” Schumer said, referring to the Chinese spy balloon brought down by the US over South Carolina’s coast Feb. 4. “Both of those [latest balloons], one over Canada, one over Alaska, were at 40,000 feet.

“Immediately it was determined that that’s a danger to commercial aircraft which also fly at 40,000 feet. And so the second one, in cooperation with the Canadians, the first one with the Americans, took it down. And that’s appropriate,” he added.

Both objects are believed to have been carrying payloads, and the one shot down over Canada on Saturday was a “small metallic balloon,” Fox News said Sunday, citing an unidentified senior US official.

The object shot down over remote Alaska on Friday was about the size of a small car, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said after that incident.

On Feb. 4, an Air Force F-22 fighter shot down what officials have said was a Chinese spy balloon about the size of three school buses that floated across the US at an altitude of about 60,000 feet before it was downed off the coast of South Carolina.

Sen. Chucker Schumer confirmed that the aerial objects were balloons.
Getty Images

Alaska map.
A suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down over Alaska on Friday.

Beijing has denied those allegations and claimed that the balloon was merely gathering weather data.

Schumer said Sunday that the US would be able to use debris from the first incident “to piece together this whole, whole surveillance balloon, and know exactly what’s going on.

“Look, I think the Chinese were humiliated. I think the Chinese were caught lying,” he said. “And I think it’s a real — it’s a real step back for them, yes. I think they’re going to have to — I think they’re probably going to have to get rid of it or do something because they look really bad. And they’re not just doing the United States. This is a crew of balloons, we saw one in South America, they’ve probably been all over the world.”

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button