Speaking in Vero Beach, FL, General Mattis denied having any knowledge of a Chinese balloon flying over the continental US on his watch.
Mattis Said, “I don't mean to make light of it but don't worry that it suddenly was able to find things out that satellites that are up in low Earth orbit weren't spotted in already.”
“But in this case, I would still say it's serious, but I wouldn't get overly worried at all about it. But there are some questions we all, as Americans, need to answer you; I think did it really happen during the past administration because it doesn't seem to be anybody from the past administration is aware of it,” Mattis added.
Mattis said, “That was a balloon. I don't know. But there are some answers that the American people are owed, and could we not have taken it down sooner? I mean, NORAD North American air defense has got a lot of Canadian fighters and the Alaska-based US fighters up there intercepting Russian planes routinely up over the Bering Strait.”