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Tipsheet

Rubio Details the 'Message Embedded in' Chinese Spy Balloon

AP Photo/John Raoux

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida explained Sunday the “message” that he says was “embedded” in the Chinese spy balloon that floated across the U.S. before the military shot it down off the East Coast.

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Speaking to “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper, Rubio also noted the significance of the balloon's timing. 

“I think what’s embedded here is a clear message. It’s not a coincidence that this happens leading up to the State of the Union address, leading up to [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken’s visit to China,” Rubio said. “The Chinese knew that this was going to be spotted. They knew that we were going to have to react to it. They flew it over military installations and sensitive sites.”

He continued: “And the message embedded in this to the world is, ‘we can fly a balloon over airspace of the United States of America, and they won't be able to do anything about it to stop us.’”

While Rubio acknowledged the balloon is not unique, what is “unprecedented” about the latest one to traverse America is its flight path. 

The existence of the balloons is not a mystery to people. What we've never seen, what is unprecedented, is a balloon flight that entered over Idaho and flew over Montana over all of these sensitive military installations, Air Force bases, ICBM fields, right across the middle of the country,” he said. “That has never happened before. That is unprecedented. We've never seen this, so this is no comparison to anything that may have happened up to this point.”

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