Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) appeared on FOX Business Network’s “Stuart Varney” on Monday and revealed information he received from current Pentagon officials over the weekend.
According to Waltz, Chinese spy balloons entered U.S. airspace over Texas and Florida during the Trump administration, and General Mattis, who was Secretary of Defense at the time, chose not to inform President Trump as the Pentagon believed Trump was “too provocative and aggressive.”
General Mattis addressed an audience at an event in Vero Beach, Florida, where he was the honored guest at the McKee Botanical Garden. In his speech, he dismissed the allegations that he had any knowledge of spy balloons flying over the US during his time as Secretary of Defense.
When questioned about the balloon, General 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 up in lower orbit weren’t spotting already. You’ve gotta wonder, was it stupidity or the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing? Why did the Chinese have time to do it? I’m going to tell you frankly young guys who want to make 4-star general, a bucket of rocks. But in this case, I would still say it’s serious. And I wouldn’t get overly worried about it.”
He went on to say, “But there are some questions that we all as Americans need answers to. Did it really happen during past administrations? Because there isn’t anybody from the past administration who is aware of it. I’m not for the first two years of that administration. Now it’s possible that there are old radar tapes that show things. If you go back and you know what they look like. Now, if you go back and look, that isn’t an ice storm over the Aleutians. That was a balloon. But there are some answers that the American people are owed. And could we not have taken it down sooner? I mean, NORAD has a lot of Canadian fighters up there intercepting Russian planes routinely.”
Earlier today, Rep. Waltz stated the following in response: “My office has been briefed by the office of the Secretary of Defense of the current Pentagon that it happened over Florida, it happened over Texas, and that it’s happened before. We have more detailed questions, but what is unclear, Stuart, at this point 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? And there is some speculation, I talked to Trump administration officials over the weekend, that the Pentagon deliberately did it because they thought Trump would be too provocative and too aggressive. So that’s what we need to get to the bottom of. Any one person that I’m waiting to hear from that we haven’t heard from 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 and brief to the president?”
Critics argue that, if these allegations turn out to be accurate, the actions of Mattis could potentially have endangered the United States by enabling spying on crucial U.S. installations and keeping this information hidden from his superiors, including the President of the United States.