General Keith Kellogg, who was the Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the United States National Security Council in the Trump administration, says he was never notified! And he went to every daily briefing.
….Former Trump advisor John Bolton, former DNI Ric Grenell, Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Former Secretary of State and CIA Direcor Mike Pompeo, President Trump , Defense Secretary Mattis, and former DNI John Ratcliffe, spoke out that that this was a lie.
This never happened during the Trump years. And if it did happen, the top officials in Trump administration were not notified – which is just as bad.
The military is changing their story. Now they want you to believe that the intelligence community discovered the balloons during the Trump years — BUT NEVER NOTIFIED THEIR INTEL LEADERS!….
….The American military had a “domain awareness gap,” according to Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
“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,” VanHerck said. “And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail.”
What’s a “domain awareness gap”? General VanHerck didn’t define the term, but Breaking Defense offered a partial explanation.
When VanHerck speaks of a “domain gap,” he’s referring to the U.S. Northern Command not having “the correct mix of sensor capabilities.”
The four-star general, a staunch proponent of beefing up US sensing capabilities to include over-the-horizon radars, did not disclose the number of past detection failures or where the balloons had flown. John Kirby, the White House National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, said today that the Biden administration discovered three incidents during the Trump administration when “surveillance balloons, by the [Chinese government] transited US airspace” for “brief periods of time.” On Saturday a senior defense official told reporters there had been another incident earlier in Biden’s presidency. None were for the duration of last week’s saga.
That still doesn’t answer the question of how the balloon transits were detected after the fact. Here we get into the classified area of intelligence gathering,
“The intel community, after the fact … assessed those threats through additional means of collection and made us aware of those balloons that were previously approaching North America or transiting North America,” VanHerck said. He noted that USNORTHCOM does not have the authority to collect intelligence inside US borders but was able to track the movement of last week’s balloon because it was granted “specific authorities.”
So part of the problem was jurisdictional. But what those “additional means of collection” are is classified. It still doesn’t answer the question of why no one was informed if the intel was somewhere in some database. That would appear to be a big gap in our intelligence gathering that General VanHerck and Northern Command might want to address with all speed.
The Air Force general charged with protecting America’s air space from hostile threats acknowledged Monday that the U.S. military failed to detect some previous incursions by Chinese spy balloons, calling it a troubling “awareness gap” that needed fixing.
“We had gaps on prior balloons,” Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck told reporters.
The comment by the North American Aerospace Defense Command commander both raised concern about NORAD’s vaunted ability to detect airspace threats and also undercut a bungled weekend effort by the Biden administration to try to suggest former President Donald Trump failed to react to three incursions on his watch.
In fact, VanHerck told reporters during a Pentagon briefing, the Trump administration wasn’t told about the incursions because NORAD missed them and that they only recently were detected after the fact by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out,” he said, declining to be more specific about how earlier flyovers of Chinese spy balloons were missed……
Which makes KJP’s comments seem coherent (POWERLINE):
….Q How is it possible that this administration discovered at least three previous balloons that flew over the U.S. under the previous administration, but Trump officials didn’t know it was happening?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE:Yeah, so, look, I think that — and we have talked about this before, about how the — when it — when the PRC government surveillance balloons trans- — trans- — trans- — transited the continental U.S. briefly at least three times, as you just mentioned, during the President’s — the prior administration and once that we know of the beginning of this administration’s. But never for this duration of time, as we know.
This information was discovered prior to the admin- — administration left, but the intelligence community, as I said, is prepared to give — give briefings to key officials. But this is something —
QPrior or post?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE:— this is something — sorry, post. So this is something that we — they did not — they were not aware of, as we’ve just laid out. But again, we are ready to brief key officials to let them know what — you know, what the intelligence community was able to figure out…..