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Tags: china | spy | balloon | john hoeven | defense | intelligence | national security

Sen. John Hoeven to Newsmax: Balloon Should've Been Shot Down 'Off Aleutian Islands'

(Newsmax/"The Record With Greta Van Susteren")

By    |   Monday, 06 February 2023 09:36 PM EST

The Biden administration should have ordered the Chinese balloon to be struck down when it was allegedly first identified "off the Aleutian Islands," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told Newsmax.

Hoeven argued Pentagon officials must have identified the balloon in U.S. airspace when it was flying near Alaska's westernmost Island chain.

"We should have heard about it before when it was off the Aleutian Islands," Hoeven told Monday's "The Record with Greta Van Susteren." "It should have been taken down right there and then. They had to have known about it with our ability to detect any kind of interdiction into our airspace.

"So, I think we're going to have to get some answers here as to when were the intelligence agencies and defense agencies aware of it.

"And why it wasn't dealt with before it crossed completely across our airspace."

Hoeven's comments arrive despite the Pentagon not officially disclosing the balloon's flight pattern. However, a senior military official did inform ABC News the balloon entered U.S. airspace Jan. 28 north of the Aleutian Islands.

The anonymous official also told the network the balloon entered Canadian airspace Jan. 30 before traveling south back into U.S. airspace over northern Idaho on Jan. 31.

"All the time we have, whether it's Russia or other adversaries," Hoeven said, "you know, they'll come and test our airspace, and we rally fighter aircraft to go up interdict them.

"Clearly, we monitor that all the time. And obviously, we should have been well aware of a balloon the size of three different greyhound buses," he continued. "Sure, it was 60,000 feet or whatever. We have surveillance aircraft that can go that height or higher."

Although China has maintained the balloon was an off-course "civilian airship" primarily used to track weather, U.S. intelligence officials claim its purpose was surveillance over "sensitive sites."

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The Biden administration should have ordered the Chinese balloon to be struck down when it was allegedly first identified "off the Aleutian Islands," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told Newsmax.
china, spy, balloon, john hoeven, defense, intelligence, national security, biden administration
352
2023-36-06
Monday, 06 February 2023 09:36 PM
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