The Slatest

Trump Says He Doesn’t Really Believe in UFOs, but Admits He Has Been Briefed on Sightings

President Donald Trump speaks about expanding healthcare coverage for small businesses in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 14, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump speaks about expanding healthcare coverage for small businesses in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 14, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Donald Trump spoke briefly about his feelings on unidentified flying objects during his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this week and it doesn’t sound like the commander in chief is much of a believer. In an excerpt from the interview released Saturday morning, Stephanopoulos asked the president about recent reports that Navy pilots have been seeing unidentified objects flying through the sky. “Have you been briefed on that?” Stephanopoulos asked. “What do you make of it?”

An evidently amused Trump didn’t seem too eager to really get into the issue. “I think it’s probably—I want them to think whatever they think,” Trump said. “They do say, and I’ve seen, and I’ve read, and I’ve heard. And I did have one very brief meeting on it. But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particular.”

Stephanopoulos went on to ask whether the president thought he would know whether there was evidence of extraterrestrial life. “Well, I think my great pilots would know. Our great pilots would know,” Trump said. “They see things a little bit different from the past. So we’re gong to see. We’re watching and you’ll be the first to know.”

There has been a lot of talk about UFOs lately after the Navy updated its guidelines to how pilots should report potential sightings considering an increase in the number of reports in recent years. A New York Times story last month reported that Navy pilots had regularly seen UFOs while training over the East Coast in 2014 and 2015. The sightings coincided with an upgrade in radar systems. “There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” Joseph Gradisher, spokesperson for Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, said. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report.