Recent revelations of China’s use of surveillance balloons to hover over U.S. airspace has left former officials of the Trump administration feeling frustrated and bewildered. With each new detail emerging about China’s extensive use of these balloons to monitor the U.S. and other nations, questions have arisen about why the Trump administration was unaware of these incursions. This has resulted in frustration among some of these former officials.
Keith Kellogg, who served on the Trump White House National Security Council and later became the national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence in 2018, expressed his disbelief. He stated that the issue of Chinese surveillance balloons never came up during the entire time he served in the administration and that if it had happened and was not reported to President Trump, it would be considered a gross failure of duty.
Last week, a senior Pentagon official revealed that the Chinese government used these balloons to spy over the continental U.S. at least three times during the Trump administration and once at the beginning of the Biden administration. Despite these incursions, several former officials from the intelligence community during the Trump administration have stated that they were not aware of any Chinese spy balloons hovering over the U.S.
These revelations have sparked a wave of questions and a renewed focus on the issue of foreign surveillance in U.S. airspace.