(CNN) — President Joe Biden said Saturday that his administration would deal with the suspected Chinese spy balloon traversing the eastern United States.
“We’re going to take over,” Biden said when asked by CNN if the United States would shoot down the balloon.
Biden has been discussing options with senior military commanders since he was first briefed on the balloon on Tuesday. His advisers warned against bringing it down on the ground because the debris could fall on people or homes.
Biden was speaking from Syracuse, New York, where he is visiting family.
On Friday, the Pentagon said the balloon, which was first sighted over Montana on Thursday, did not pose a “military or political” threat. A defense official told CNN that US Northern Command was coordinating with NASA to determine the debris field if the balloon were to be shot down.
China’s Foreign Ministry has said the balloon entered US airspace by accident. But the State Department has said the balloon’s presence in US airspace was “a clear violation of our sovereignty, as well as international law, and it is unacceptable that this occurred.”
The discovery of the balloon prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone his highly anticipated diplomatic visit to China, saying the incident “created conditions that undermine the purpose of the trip.”