Video reveals suspected Chinese language peek balloon being shot down


U.s./china relations. The world will be watching in the hours and days ahead. Let's get straight to CNN's Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon. Oren, what more are you learning? I understand you were listening to officials explain how all of.

This went down. What can you tell us? >> It started on Wednesday when president Joe Biden gave the authorization to shoot down the Chinese balloo N as soon as possible. There were tankers and others to.

Shoot this down. It was an f-22 that fired an a 9 side winder. The aircraft itself was shooting itself. The balloon between 60 and 65,000 feet so at incredibly high altitude. The one shot took the balloon.

Down and crashed into waters below. We saw some of the videos coming out from eye witnesses. This was an operation which we saw building up to it. As well as the ground stop on airports along the post there. Working in coordination with the.

FAA and be other agencies to make this happen. The culmination of the Chinese balloon that was a spy balloon that tracked across the country until it was shot down. Worth noting according to a senior defense official, they effectively mitigated the.

Ability of the balloon to gather Intel. Crucially, that same official said the U.S. Was able to do the reverse, to gather Intel about the balloon itself, the technologies it has, surveillance capabilities, what Intel it can pick up as it made.

Its way across the U.S. The U.S. Was gathering Intel on the balloon itself. They couldn't go into all that much more detail. >> Oren, one of the big questions at this hour is can they scoop it up out of the water and learn more about this.

Balloon by retrieving it? What more do we know about the recovery efforts that are underway right now? >> Absolutely. As you pointed out, those efforts are already underway. Navy and coast guard assets were standing by already knowing that.

This was the outcome the military was going for. The pay load, the object hanging below that balloon about three school buses long we have reported crashed in about 47 feet of water the senior defense official said. Pretty shallow making it fairly.

Easy to recover. In terms of what shape it's in, what did the impact with the water do to it, that's a question we're waiting to find out. That will go a long way into determining what we can do to find out.

In terms of what more Intel can be gathered about the Chinese technology on board of this. Also worth noting the officials we spoke with pointed out the explanation, the weather balloon and flatly rejecting it saying it had no credibility. >> Oren Liebermann, thank you.

Very much. Let's get straight to the white house. CNN's arlitt Saenz. We heard from the president a short while ago. He was very emphatic that he ordered this balloon to be shot down.

What more can you tell us? >> Reporter: He was, Jim. President Biden was on air force one traveling from Syracuse, new York, to Hagerstown, Maryland, when the military undertook this operation. President Biden spoke to reporters just in the last hour.

Where he tried to clearly lay out the time line of when he gave that order saying he told his military officials he wanted to shoot down that plane as soon as possible. Take a listen to what the president had to say. >> On Wednesday when I was.

Briefed on the balloon I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible. They decided without doing damage to anyone on the ground — they decided the best time to do that was when it got over water within a 12-mile limit.

They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators that did it. We'll have more to report on this a little later. Thank you. >> Mr. President, what do you say about — >> What's your message to China?.

>> You're saying your recommendation was from — >> I told them to shoot it down. >> On Wednesday? >> On Wednesday. >> But the recommendation — >> They said to me let's wait until the safest place to do it. >> So the president quite.

Emphatic there that he did give that order on Wednesday. Of course, he had been facing a slew of criticism from Republicans up on capitol hill who had slammed the president for not taking action sooner. We've heard from Republicans today praising the decision to.

Shoot down that balloon but they did say they wished he had taken these steps much sooner. There have also been Democrats who have major questions for the white house about how exactly this has all played out. Senator mark Warner, the head of the senate intelligence.

Committee, said China itself wouldn't have allowed a balloon like this to fly over the heartland. John tester wants to hold hearings related to this matter. Certainly, the president's faced a lot of political pressure. He was asked what kind of.

Message this sends to China. He did not answer that. This serves as a major tension point in that relationship with China. >> I think the United States has sent that message. Arlitt Saenz with me on the phone.

With me is Jim sciutto. Jim, to that point. I mean, I guess we're reaching a new I guess moment in the relationship, tense relationship between the United States and China and president Biden making it very clear on Wednesday he wanted to shoot this thing down.

>> It's a critical moment, Jim, in the relationship between two super powers, which was already tense and is now more tense. Of course, the first hostile act, China floating this highly capable surveillance balloon over the continental U.S. Including overflying several.

Sensitive installations and now a U.S. President making a decision to fire weapons, fire a missile from an f-22 fighter jet to destroy that surveillance balloon, but also critically take it down in U.S. Territorial waters off the coast of south Carolina with ships on the.

Surface there, as we're told, going to make an attempt, at least, to collect what it can from here that they can further learn exactly what Chinese capabilities are. I think it's also critical to note, Jim, as Oren was saying, that the U.S. Was able to block.

The surveillance balloon's ability to gather intelligence while at the same time turning the tables to gather intelligence on that balloon's capability. That's critical. Big picture, this is a tense moment.

It was already tense. We had a U.S. Air force general within the last week or so warning his forces under his command to be prepared for the prospect of war with China in the year 2025. That's not the consensus assessment from the U.S., but.

It's not far off from the urgency that U.S. Officials feel about the prospect for escalation with China in the coming years, and now you have a tangible instance of that with missiles fired in anger or in response to a Chinese provocation.

It's a tense time. >> Absolutely. We might see more provocations to come. Jim sciutto, thanks for the expertise as always. We appreciate it. >>> I want to go to CNN's Tom foreman on the spy balloon.

Watching this all day, Tom. Very dramatic conclusion to what has been a tense few days over the United States with this balloon making it across the country. >> We're actually coming up on three full days. It's believed it took off from.

China, came up over the aleutian islands, Canada, then ended up down in here. That would be roughly an 8500 mile trip or 1/3 of the distance around the world. Let's look at what it came over on the way here. When we had these spottings.

Here, it gave us an idea of the path it was following through the United States here. These reports maybe it was guided to some degree, but this matches up pretty well with what the jet stream would do with any balloon out there. What did it pass over?.

Close to a dozen nuclear facilities, missile facilities. Five or six large military facilities on the way and some fairly big towns. It got reasonably close to Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville and others before coming into its finish at the.

End. Oren said something a moment ago. This is in 47 feet of water. We had already looked at the ocean shelf out here. Up to about 35 miles before you go out it can go up to 600, 700 feet.

If it's in 47 feet, that is a very precise, excellent depth for them to recover it in. The it also means they know precisely where it came down, that it didn't get lost in the fall and they know where it is. Really important. The question now is what are.

They going to find? One of the questions that military analysts will have about this is was the information that was being collected, the stuff they couldn't block or whatever they were trying to block, was that native to this hardware?.

Did it live here in some fashion on some kind of drive, some kind of chip, some sort of something or was it being streamed to China and is all the memory here empty? Does it mean it's useless? Evenly if you don't have that, you at least have the hardware.

To give you an idea what it was supposed to do, some of what it might have been looking at. Those are key things they have to look at when they look at this technology once they're able to fish it out of the water, which they hope they can

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