F-16 fighter jets intercepted planes in restricted airspace during Biden’s Southern California visit.
“We’ve got fighters in the sky and people are really nervous about this,” the president said, claiming without evidence that his comments had not changed the situation.
His claim was immediately rejected by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who said officials could not confirm the president’s claim.
“At this time, we are not aware of any U.S. or foreign military aircraft intercepted by NORAD prior to the president’s comment,” she said in an email to TIME. “The president’s suggestion that Air Force jets were intercepting an aircraft in restricted airspace is misleading, without any basis in fact, and does not align with the facts or the NORAD operations that are supported by the facts.”