A top military commander admitted Monday there had been a "domain awareness gap" during the Trump administration, allowing three Chinese spy balloons to gather intelligence on the U.S. undetected.
"Every day as a NORAD commander, it's my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats,"
Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
"And that's a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail," he added.
Democrats immediately used the allegation to defend President Joe Biden from criticism stemming from his response to the spy balloon recently seen in American air space and subsequently criticize Trump.
But a score of senior Trump administration officials, those who led the national security apparatus, quickly pushed back on the allegation and
publicly disputed it
. None of them had recollection of any such event occurring under Trump.
Unfortunately, it's not clear exactly who told the media about the Chinese spy balloon incursions under Trump only to mislead reporters by conveniently omitting the fact that the incursions were not discovered until
Trump left office. The Washington Free Beacon
the identity of the "senior defense official" could help inform the public "whether the Pentagon is also helping Biden combat the public relations crisis over the balloon."
The Pentagon, however, refused to identify the "senior defense official" because Saturday's media briefing was conducted on "background" and thus was not officially on the record.
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