When similar balloons passed over U.S. territory on four occasions during the Trump and Biden administrations, the U.S. did not immediately identify them as Chinese surveillance balloons, said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary.
But he said “subsequent intelligence analysis” allowed the U.S. to confirm they were part of a Chinese spying effort and learn “a lot more” about the program, according to AP.
He refused to provide any new details about those previous balloons. When pressed, Ryder would only say that the balloons flew over “sites that would be of interest to the Chinese.”