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Turner says he’d prefer Biden administration be ‘trigger happy’ on suspected spy balloons

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio)
Greg Nash
Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) is seen during a press conference on Friday, August 12, 2022 to discuss the FBI seizing documents from former President Trump’s Mar-a-largo home earlier in the week.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) on Sunday said he’d prefer the Biden administration be “trigger happy” with suspected spy balloons than to be “permissive” when objects enter U.S. airspace.

“They do appear somewhat trigger happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites,” Turner told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  

A week after President Biden ordered the U.S. military to shoot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of the Carolinas, the U.S. downed a second “high-altitude object” over Alaska.

“Obviously I would prefer them to be trigger happy than to be permissive,” Turner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  

“We’re going to have to see whether or not this is just the administration in trying to change headlines. But what I think this shows which is probably more important to our policy discussion is that we really have to declare that we’re going to defend our airspace and then we need to invest,” Turner said. 

John Kirby, the White House’s national security spokesperson, said the second object was traveling at a height that posed a “reasonable threat” to civilian flight safety, and officials are attempting to recover and examine the wreckage to learn more.

On Saturday, a U.S. fighter jet also shot down an unidentified object over northern Canada.

Tags Chinese surveillance balloon high-altitude object Joe Biden John Kirby Mike Turner Mike Turner spy balloon

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