What Trump, Obama and Clinton Have Said About UFOs

There has been renewed attention on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) in recent days following comments by former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (ATTIP) Luis Elizondo.

ATTIP is a Pentagon unit that studies UFOs and Elizondo told CBS News on Sunday that there is "compelling" evidence for their existence.

His remarks come just weeks before a government report on the topic is due to be published and followed a leaked video apparently showing a UFO off California.

Three recent former presidents have broached the subjects of UFOs in the past: Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, with Trump becoming the first commander-in-chief to admit to receiving a briefing on the matter.

In June 2019, Trump responded to reports that navy pilots had spotted UFOs off the eastern seaboard in 2014 and 2015 on an almost daily basis, according to New York Magazine.

Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that month "we're watching" for extraterrestrials

"I want them to think whatever they think," Trump said of the pilots.

"I did have one very brief meeting on it," he said. "But people are saying they're seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly."

In April 2020, Trump responded to three infrared videos released by the Pentagon that showed unidentified objects in the sky traveling at high speeds. Some service members in the videos reacted with "awe," according to CNN.

"I just wonder if it's real," Trump said. "That's a hell of a video."

Trump also suggested he knew more about the topic than he was saying publicly in an interview with his son Donald Trump Jr. Referring to the alleged UFO incident at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, he said: "I won't talk to you about what I know about it, but it's very interesting."

Former President Obama was more direct about UFOs in comments on Monday, though he didn't provide any information that he might have received during his years in office from 2009 to 2017.

"What is true, and I'm actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don't know exactly what they are," Obama said on CBS'sThe Late Late Show with James Corden.

"We can't explain how they move, their trajectory," he said. "They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so I think that people still take seriously, trying to investigate and figure out what that is."

Former President Clinton took a sincere interest in UFOs during his presidency from 1993 to 2001. Clinton genuinely wanted to know what the U.S. government knew about UFOs, according to the memoirs of his associate attor­ney general Webster Hubbell.

During a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1996, Clinton publicly answered a letter from a child named Ryan about Roswell.

"No, as far as I know, an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947," he said, but added: "and Ryan, if the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn't tell me about it, either, and I want to know."

Clinton told Jimmy Kimmel in 2014 that he had aides search Area 51 "to make sure there was no alien down there," according to The Daily Beast. He also said he would have told the public if he found anything.

"If we were visited someday, I wouldn't be surprised," Clinton said. "I just hope it's not like Independence Day."

Newsweek has asked former Presidents Clinton, Obama and Trump for comment.

Three Former Presidents Have Spoken About UFOs
Former Presidents Trump, Obama and Clinton have weighed in on the possibilities of UFOs in recent years. There has been renewed interest on the topic ahead of an expected government report, Getty Images/iStock