Phone call shows Biden administration planned to hide Chinese spy balloon from Congress, public

By Jen Krausz on
 December 25, 2023

CBS News obtained information about a Jan. 27 phone call between Air Force Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley that revealed the pair wanted to hide the fact of a Chinese spy balloon traversing the country from the public on an indefinite basis.

During the phone call, VanHerck told Milley that he had just heard from intelligence officials that they had been tracking the balloon for 10 days.

President Joe Biden would not hear about the balloon for another four days, until Feb. 1.

"Before it was spotted publicly, there was the intention to study it and let it pass over and not ever tell anyone about it," a former U.S. official told NBC.

Biden's team denied this allegation, however.

"To the extent any of this was kept quiet at all, that was in large part to protect intel equities related to finding and tracking them," a Biden official told NBC. "There was no intention to keep this from Congress at any point."