Chinese spy balloons, mistaken for UFOs, flew near military bases during Trump presidency: report
Trump said he was ready for a "historic" deal with China as the leaders kicked off their meeting and Xi told him "dialogue" was better than confrontation AFP / Brendan Smialowski

Chinese spy balloons reportedly flew near U.S. military bases while Donald Trump was president, but the balloons were categorized at the time as “unidentified aerial phenomena” — commonly referred to as unidentified flying objects or UFOs.

Bloomberg first reported that the balloons had been spotted near bases in Guam, Norfolk, Virginia, and Coronado, California, according to "people who requested anonymity to discuss intelligence matters."

Balloons were said to have also been seen near Texas, Florida, and Hawaii during Trump's presidency, the people said.

Bloomberg noted:

The balloons that overflew Guam and Norfolk were thought to have radar-jamming capabilities, while the flights near Norfolk, where the US stations aircraft carriers, came around the time China was launching its own such vessel.

The balloons near Norfolk and Coronado both flew at a lower altitude over the ocean, but within US air space, according to the officials who served during the Trump administration.

The report said that balloons found during Trump's presidency were smaller in size and miscategorized as “unidentified aerial phenomena” by officials at the time.

Bloomberg's sources said the balloons were discovered after Trump left office because intelligence gathering on the aircraft improved in response to China's continued use of the spy vehicles.

Trump told Fox News on Sunday night that the incidents during his administration "never happened."