Senators will receive a classified briefing at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the three unidentified objects shot down by the U.S. military over Alaska, Canada and Lake Huron in recent days after lawmakers expressed frustration over a lack of information coming from the Biden administration.
The all-senators briefing follows a classified briefing they received last week from senior administration officials about the Chinese surveillance balloon that floated across the United States before getting shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the scheduled briefing shortly after the chamber came into session Monday. Senators will also receive a briefing on the rising threat posed by China on Wednesday.
“I have scheduled for senators to receive a briefing tomorrow on what we know and do not know about where these objects come from and what threats, if any, they pose to the United States,” he said.
Lawmakers still don’t know where the unidentified objects shot down on Friday, Saturday and Sunday came from or who launched them.
“The administration has still not been able to divulge any meaningful information about what was shot down,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said on the Senate floor Monday.
“What in the world is going on? Has the Biden administration dialed the sensitivity of our radars all the way up? If so, what are the objects we’re noticing for the first time?” he asked.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an influential member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on Biden to explain what U.S. fighter planes shot down.
“The president owes the American people an explanation, direct and on camera, of what we know about these ‘objects’ and what steps he’s taking to protect America’s sovereign airspace,” he said in a statement.
“No commander-in-chief should hide behind press secretaries and anonymous sources in a time of crisis,” he said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday that security officials still don’t know who owns the objects shot down in the last few days.