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ICYMI: Rubio Joins CBS Mornings

Feb 16, 2023 | Press Releases

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined CBS Mornings to discuss the downing of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), the Chinese spy balloon, and the future of the U.S.-China relationship. See below for highlights and watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble

cbs mornings

On the four objects shot down over U.S. airspace:

 
“It’s important to separate two different and distinct instances. The first is the balloon. Everybody saw it. We knew what it was. We’ve seen them before. The U.S. knew it was coming and knew it was headed here. It knew at least a day before it entered U.S. airspace what it was going to be doing and had the opportunity to shoot it down. It entered the U.S. through Idaho, traveled through the middle of the country over some very sensitive and important military installations, some of the most important we have in the country. It exited off the coast of South Carolina. It was shot down, and they’re recovering it. That was a spy balloon, and we’ve never seen it do what that one did. But we have seen it, as they’ve been testing it around the world and so forth. 
 
“Then you have the other three [UAPs]. They haven’t told anybody [what it is]. They haven’t told us what it is. They may not know themselves and potentially may never know. The three objects, as they’ve called it, are actually not unprecedented. There have been hundreds and hundreds of reports almost identical to these over the last few years. It’s not about flying saucers. It’s about small vehicles operating in often restricted airspace. But what is unusual is that this is the first time in American history, in the 65 years since NORAD was set up, that we’ve shot anything down. 
 
“I do think that merits the president directly addressing why those things were shot down and what we know up to this point. Nothing they’ve talked to us about with regards to those three should be classified, because it’s really not the type of thing you classify.”
 
On whether the U.S. is prepared to deal with UAPs:
 
“I would say the answer is no. There’s an agency called ARRO that was created by Senator Gillibrand of New York and myself and others. It monitors all of these anomalous incidents, which is basically aircraft flying in places they don’t belong, and we don’t know who it belongs to. There are hundreds of these cases being reported. We don’t do a good job of monitoring. We don’t have a systemized way to respond to it. The difference between these three and hundreds of those cases is these three were shot down. That’s the biggest difference. Right now, if you’re a small craft, moving slowly, perhaps maneuvering in ways we’re not used to seeing, at 20, 25, 30,000 feet, the U.S. really doesn’t have an established protocol for how to monitor that or address it, until NORAD decided to turn on its radars and look for it at that level.”
 
On the Biden Administration’s choice not to down the Chinese spy balloon earlier:
 
“They had an opportunity to shoot it down before it entered U.S. airspace, before it even got over Alaska. They knew where it was headed. They had been tracking it. At least a day before it entered U.S. airspace, we knew where it was headed, and we had an opportunity to confront it then and failed to do so. It went right through the middle of the country. Unlike other similar flights by these balloons, it didn’t just go over a piece of Florida for 30 minutes on its way across the equator. This one went diagonally across through the middle of the country and over places like Strategic Command, sensitive missile fields. My sense is they probably collected all sorts of signals, intelligence, and imagery that have proved valuable to the Chinese Communist Party.”
 
On the future of the U.S.-China relationship:
 
“The United States and China are engaged in great power competition. [Great power competition] has been the way the world has been for all but the last 30 years, which is an anomaly. The world has always had great powers that compete against each other. And the hope is you can avoid that turning into a military conflict. But we will be competitors with China technologically, commercially, geopolitically, and militarily, from our capability perspective, for the rest of our lifetimes. This entire century will be defined by that competition.”