‘They Could Have Been Getting It Anyway’: Schumer Dismisses Concerns Spy Balloon Wasn’t Shot Down Fast Enough


Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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New York Senator Chuck Schumer dismissed concerns Sunday about how long it took to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon, saying that the United States was able to gather intelligence on the Chinese by leaving it in the air.

The United States shot down a Chinese spy balloon Feb. 4, after allowing it to fly over American airspace for several days. The Pentagon said that by leaving it up they were able to collect valuable information on the spying capabilities of the object. Defense officials claim the balloon was not a national security threat when it flew over Alaska. (RELATED: ‘Is It Appropriate?’: Jake Tapper Presses Whitmer On Her Use Of TikTok Given National Security Concerns)

“Both of those, one over Canada, one over Alaska were at 40,000 feet,” Schumer told George Stephanopolous on This Week. “Immediately it was determined that that’s a danger to commercial aircraft which also fly at 40,000 feet, and so the second one in cooperation with the Canadians, the first one with the Americans took it down, and that’s appropriate.”

“The first balloon, there was a much different rationale which I think was the appropriate rationale. We got enormous intelligence information from surveilling the balloon as it went over the United States.”

“Didn’t get the Chinese get enormous surveillance as well?” Stephanopolous asked.

“They could have been getting it anyway. We have to know what they’re doing, and we don’t know exactly, but we got a lot of that, and more importantly, by shooting it down over water, U.S. waters, only a few miles out from South Carolina, we’re probably going to be able to piece together this whole, whole surveillance balloon, and know exactly what’s going on. So that’s a huge coup for the United States.”