After the Biden administration reportedly said they would like to brief former Trump officials of three alleged prior Chinese spycraft flyovers of North America, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed he had never heard of such operations while he was in office and demanded answers.
On “The Story,” anchor Martha MacCallum reported Biden officials have disclosed three prior flyovers of Chinese surveillance balloons, with the caveat that they were not discovered until after President Joe Biden took office in 2021.
Pompeo, who served both at Foggy Bottom and as CIA director, said many people are confounded by the report – given that neglecting to inform top political officials up to and including Donald Trump at the time seems unthinkable.
“I can speak for myself: I certainly never became aware that there was a three-bus-sized floating device coming across our country for five days, either as CIA director or secretary of state [and] I’ve talked to others who are on my teams – They don’t know anything about it either,” he said.
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He said two fellow former Trump administration officials, ex-National Security Advisers John Bolton and Robert O’Brien, both deny ever learning of such operations while in office – adding the Biden team may be trying to deflect from their own purported failures on the issue.
“It seems unimaginable that somehow this wouldn’t have gotten to the political leadership in the White House or State Department or at the CIA. I can’t figure out how that happened,” he went on.
Pompeo added he has not received any invitation to be briefed on the matter as a former Trump official, despite the Biden administrations purported offers.
“I’d really like to know if somehow we got it wrong, if somehow the military didn’t share with us what they needed to. The American people are owed an explanation of this,” he said.
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“This accusation is deeply dangerous that somehow the military hid from its political command and its political authority information that was vital to American security.”
MacCallum later noted that while former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper also said he was never aware of the three reported flyovers, two relevant officials who have not spoken out are Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Ret., one of Trump’s Pentagon chiefs.
Pompeo said neither Milley – who he noted is still in his top military adviser role – nor former Secretary Mattis have spoken out as to whether they knew of the Trump-era Chinese spycraft flyovers.
“I would be shocked if General Mattis knew about it and hadn’t shared that with either the CIA director or the secretary of state,” he said.
Earlier Monday, House Armed Services Committee member Michael Waltz, R-Fla., echoed calls for Mattis to speak publicly as to whether he had knowledge of the reported flyovers.
“What’s unclear … is did the Pentagon, under the Trump administration, brief the Trump White House and give them the option to take action or did they decide not to brief them for whatever reason,” Waltz told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney.
“One person I’m waiting to hear from that we haven’t heard from in that list is former Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, who was the secretary during this time period. What did he know and what did he decide to pass on to the president?”
On “The Story,” Pompeo went on to underline that the Chinese government is continuously conducting espionage against the United States – further recounting suggesting to Trump the then-Chinese Consulate in Houston be shuttered over concerns the CCP was conducting espionage there from within the U.S.