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Tipsheet

Two Big Updates on the 'Objects' Biden Had Shot Down

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Over the past three days, and in unprecedented fashion, the United States military shot down three flying "objects." One was in Canada, the other two in U.S. airspace. 

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According to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, the still unidentified objects were shot down because they were flying at altitudes that presented a potential threat to civilian or commercial aircraft. 

"As we have said, we do not assess that these most recent objects posed any direct threat to people on the ground, and we are laser-focused on confirming their nature and purpose, including through intensive efforts to collect debris in the remote locations where they have fallen. In each instance, we have followed the same basic course," Kirby told reporters Monday afternoon. "We assessed whether they posed any kinetic threat to people on the ground. They did not. We assessed whether they were sending any communications signals. We detected none. We looked to see whether they were maneuvering or had any propulsion capabilities. We saw no signs of that. And we made sure to determine whether or not they were manned. They were not." 

"We did, however, assess that their altitudes were considerably lower than the Chinese high-altitude balloon and did pose a threat to civilian commercial air traffic," he continued. "And while we have no specific reason to suspect that they were conducting surveillance of any kind, we couldn't rule that out." 

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Later in the day, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters administration officials don't know if these objects were collecting intelligence, like the Chinese spy balloon that Biden allowed to traverse the entire country was known to be doing. 

"We will evaluate each and every event on its own merits, and we'll make decisions based upon the recommendations of the NORTHCOM NORAD commander, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and they'll make recommendations to me, and I'll evaluate and make recommendations to the President," Austin said. "Again, these three events, each of them presented a risk to safety of flight. We don't know if they were actually collecting intelligence, but because of the route that they took, out of an abundance of caution, we want to make sure we have the ability to examine what these things are and potentially what they were doing." 

 Further, none of the debris from the "objects" that were shot down has been recovered. 

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