Donald Trump Tries to Deny That Spy Balloons Also Flew Over U.S. During His Presidency

Gaelen Morse/Reuters
Gaelen Morse/Reuters

Donald Trump tried to deny reports on Sunday that China launched spy balloons over the U.S. during his presidency, saying the claims were an attempt to deflect embarrassment over the half-week debacle.

Three other spy balloons have traveled over the continental U.S. in the past, officials told the Associated Press, including twice during the Trump administration. That has not stopped Trump and his acolytes, such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, from claiming otherwise.

Video Shows Chinese Balloon Being Shot Down Over Atlantic Ocean

“The Chinese Balloon situation is a disgrace, just like the Afghanistan horror show, and everything else surrounding the grossly incompetent Biden Administration. They are only good at cheating in elections, and disinformation,” Trump said in a post on his social network Truth Social.

“And now they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the ‘heat’ off the slow moving Biden fools. China had too much respect for ‘TRUMP’ for this to have happened, and it NEVER did.”

But U.S. officials said Saturday that the Chinese spy balloon—which spawned the most-watched news event since last year’s Super Bowl—was not the first of its kind.

Still, that did not stop Trump from employing his tried-and-true line of defense: labeling facts he does not care for as fake news.


A senior administration official who spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity, however, claimed that while a series of balloons did fly over the U.S., “the previous occurrences were discovered after the Trump administration left office.”

The source did not go into detail surrounding how the prior discoveries were made.

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