Intel docs show proof of China spy balloons during Trump's presidency in 2019
President Donald Trump (AFP / Mandel NGAN)

CNN reported Monday evening that new documents from the U.S. intelligence agencies detail previous China spy balloons under Donald Trump's presidency, which he has denied on his social media account.

According to statements over the weekend, the Trump Pentagon never informed the president or other White House officials about the spy balloons.

An April 2022 report from the U.S. Air Force entitled “People’s Republic of China High-Altitude Balloon” details that the Pentagon found a China spy balloon “circumnavigated the globe” in 2019, which was while Donald Trump was president. According to the report, the balloon floated around 65,000 feet, and “drifted past Hawaii and across Florida before continuing its journey."

That was the same year that a report surfaced out of Tibet that India witnessed a spy balloon over their country.

The documents say, according to CNN, that a spy balloon was “launched and controlled” by China in 2019, which proved to them at the time that they were capable of navigating such a machine across the U.S.

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On Sunday, former Trump officials lambasted claims from the Pentagon that three China balloons floated over the U.S. during Trump's administration, saying that they had never heard of such a thing. It was then clarified by the Pentagon that they either weren't told or didn't know about it at the time.

In a briefing Monday, Pentagon officials called it the military's “domain awareness gap.” That's what led to the previous balloons being undetected.

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday afternoon, New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper explained that reports about such things in the past had been categorized as UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomena, which is the more media-friendly phrase for UFOs.

Read the full CNN report on the Air Force assessment here.