The Biden administration hoped to keep the Chinese spy balloon incident a secret and let the device move along without alerting anyone, NBC News revealed Friday.
On January 27, a phone call happened between Gen. Mark Milley and NORAD chief Gen. Glen VanHerck, Fox News reported Saturday.
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The outlet cited the NBC News report that said the administration initially wanted to hide the device from Congress and the public.
“Before it was spotted publicly, there was the intention to study it and let it pass over and not ever tell anyone about it,” a former official explained to NBC News.
The outlet continued:
A senior Biden administration denied that there was an attempt to keep the balloon secret. “To the extent any of this was kept quiet at all, that was in large part to protect intel equities related to finding and tracking” the official said, referring to intelligence gathering on the balloon. “There was no intention to keep this from Congress at any point.”
Soon after VanHerck’s phone call with Milley, U.S. military jets dispatched from Alaska used their targeting pods to determine what was on board the object. They confirmed that it was a Chinese spy balloon that was not carrying offensive weapons but was outfitted with a large payload of surveillance equipment.
President Joe Biden (D) eventually had the balloon, which traveled across the continental United States, shot down after it reportedly collected intelligence from sensitive military sites, Breitbart News reported.
“The balloon was not shot down until February 4 — after it had made a several day journey across the states and potentially over other sensitive military sites and exited over South Carolina to the Atlantic Ocean,” the outlet stated in April.
Video footage shows the moment the device fell out of the sky:
In June, Biden reportedly revealed “sensitive” U.S. intelligence regarding China during an event with American donors.
“At the fundraiser in California, Biden revealed to attendees what the U.S. intelligence agencies had learned about the Chinese spy balloon incident earlier this year, reportedly surprising U.S. officials,” Breitbart News reported.