A low-flying Russian spy plane was spotted Wednesday over parts of Washington, D.C., and Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Trump is vacationing at his Trump National Golf Course -- but the flight had been approved under a long-standing global treaty, officials said.
The Russian spy plane, Tupolev Tu-154M, flew near the golf resort at 4,000 feet, and then climbed to 5,000 feet before flying into New York airspace, two U.S. defense officials told Fox News.
One of the officials said the Russian jet flew through the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) airspace that was established around the golf club.
There have been more than 1,200 Open Skies flights since the treaty became enforced in 2002. According to the Pentagon, the flights are conducted by unarmed observation aircraft equipped with certain types of film and sensors that are certified under the treaty.
The Pentagon says that before the flights, each state is given the flight plan of the mission and an escort team flies aboard the aircraft to make sure it complies with the treaty. After each flight, the host nation gets a copy of any imagery taken by the observation aircraft.
The treaty, for instance, obligates each member to make all of its territory available for aerial observation, yet Rademaker said Russia has imposed restrictions on surveillance over Moscow and Chechnya and near Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions of Georgia now under Russian control.