Rubio says it’s unlikely much intelligence will be gleaned from suspected Chinese spy balloon

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) arrives to the Senate Chamber for a vote regarding a nomination on Thursday, December 15, 2022.

As the U.S. races to recover debris from the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down over the weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said there is a chance that there is not much intelligence that the government will be able to recover from its remains.

After the balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, the U.S. began efforts to recover what remains of the balloon. But Rubio warned that since China knew there was a possibility it would be shot down, there is a good chance it does not carry much intelligence value.

“The Chinese sort of suspected that this might happen,” Rubio said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “They flew this thing across the middle of the United States. So I imagine whoever designed this thing and put it up there realized… at some point the Americans may get their hands on this. It’s quite possible that it was designed in such a way where there wouldn’t be much value to us in that regard.”

Rubio, a member of the so-called “Gang of 8” who are briefed on highly-classified intelligence matters by the executive branch, said he expects to learn more about the balloon in private briefings with military officials.

Rubio also said that he does not think this is the last time China will resort to a similar tactic.

“I don’t believe this is the last time we’re gonna see this sort of thing happen,” Rubio said. “I don’t think this is coincidental. I think they did this on purpose to send a message to the world.”

Tags Chinese balloon Marco Rubio Rubio

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