Marco Rubio Says Spy Balloon Was An “Embedded Message” From China

( Over the weekend, Florida Senator Marco Rubio suggested that there was a message from China embedded in the Chinese spy balloon that was permitted to travel across the entire continental United States before it was shot down off the East Coast on Saturday.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Rubio highlighted the significance of the timing.

He said there was “a clear message” in the timing of this balloon flight, arguing that it couldn’t be a coincidence that the balloon entered US airspace before Secretary of State Blinken’s trip to China and the president’s State of the Union Address.

Rubio told Tapper that Beijing knew the balloon would be spotted as it flew over military installations and other sensitive sites. And China knew that the US government would have to react to it.

He said the message to the world that was embedded in this balloon was “we can fly a balloon over the airspace of the United States of America, and they won’t be able to do anything about it to stop us.”

Tapper brought up the claim from a “source” within the Pentagon that China sent spy balloons over the US “at least four other times,” including during the Trump administration. He asked Senator Rubio if he believed the claim was true, and if he does, why is this particular balloon different.

Rubio said this issue is that this balloon is “unprecedented.” He argued that whatever source made the claim should have acknowledged how unprecedented it is that the balloon entered US airspace over Idaho, and then flew “over all these sensitive military installations, air force bases, ICBM fields, right across the middle of the country.”

Rubio said that was “unprecedented.” He said it is one thing for a Chinese balloon to “briefly” fly over one part of the country. “But what we saw this week, it’s unprecedented,” Rubio added.

Watch HERE.