Schumer: US believes aerial objects shot down over past few days were balloons
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday the U.S. believes objects that were shot down over American and Canadian territory over the past few days were balloons, citing a briefing by President Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
Schumer said the administration believes the objects were “much smaller” than the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina last Saturday.
“They believe they were, yes,” Schumer said when asked by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” whether the objects were balloons. “But much smaller than the first one.”
On Friday, the U.S. shot down an object flying through Alaskan air space that landed in U.S. waters. The second object was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet over Canadian territory after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the move.
Schumer said both of the objects were flying at around 40,000 feet, which officials identified as a risk to commercial flights.
Defense officials have remained mum about the objects shot down over the past two days.
Schumer called the downing of last week’s balloon a “coup” for the U.S. in terms of intelligence gathering.
“We’re gonna probably be able to piece together this whole surveillance balloon,” Schumer said. “And know exactly what’s going on. So that’s a huge coup for the United States.”
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