Republican Congressman Mike Turner has said the president should be “trigger happy“ when it comes to shooting down unidentified objects. The statement came after the White House ordered fighter jets to bring down several ‘UFOs’ – known to the Pentagon as “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAPs – spotted in US and Canadian airspace in recent days.
Speaking to CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday morning, the Ohio rep. said that while the Joe Biden administration has been “somewhat trigger happy” in firing upon the mysterious objects, that approach is “certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites.“
“Obviously I would prefer them to be trigger happy than to be permissive,” he added, effectively instructing the military to shoot first and ask questions later, even if it leads to a potential conflict.
Prior to Turner’s latest CNN appearance, the US had shot down three objects, with another brought down over Lake Huron in Michigan later on Sunday.
The first was a Chinese high-altitude balloon that floated into US airspace from the Pacific Ocean in late January. While Washington claimed the craft was used for surveillance, Beijing maintains that it was a weather balloon designed to collect meteorological data.
The White House ordered an F-22 to intercept the balloon over the Atlantic on February 4, bringing it down into waters off the coast of South Carolina after it crossed much of the continental US. The military has recovered debris from the balloon, but has yet to provide evidence that it was used for espionage. So far, it is the only object downed in recent days that has been identified by US officials, with the origin and purpose of the others remaining a mystery.
A second object was shot down over Alaska on Friday, followed by yet another in the Yukon region in northwestern Canada the next day, which was fired on by American and Canadian fighter jets.
The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that the objects pose no threat to Americans, with the president explaining that the military response was taken out of an abundance of caution.
In the days since the Chinese craft was brought down, Beijing has claimed that several American balloons have entered its own airspace in recent years, matching similar allegations from the Pentagon, which has also alleged repeated airspace violations by Chinese balloons.