Russian Surveillance Plane Flies Over Trump Golf Course

It soared over DC as part of Open Skies treaty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2017 3:49 AM CDT
Updated Aug 10, 2017 4:33 AM CDT
Russian Spy Plane Flies Over DC, NJ
The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Wednesday was an unusual day in Washington, DC: Not only was there a giant chicken balloon next to the White House, there was a Russian surveillance plane flying at low altitude through the restricted airspace around the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other DC sites, the Washington Post reports. The Russian air force Tupolev Tu-154M was in American airspace as part of the 1992 Treaty of Open Skies, which allows America and Russia to conduct surveillance flights over each other's territory. Under the treaty, the Russians are required to give 72 hours notice of surveillance flights and to have American airmen on board as observers.

But while such unarmed surveillance flights are fairly routine, with an estimated combined total of 165 carried out by both countries over the last 15 years, some Pentagon officials say they want them banned, arguing that Russia is taking advantage of a deal supposed to ensure that arms deals are being followed, the Post notes. In what Politico sees as "an attempt to troll President Trump," Wednesday's spy plane flight also went over Bedminster, NJ, where Trump is spending time at the Trump National Golf Club during a 17-day absence from the White House. "I don't know of any military facilities there," says a Pentagon official. (Read more Russia stories.)

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