Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said it is possible that aliens have visited the Earth, and she would investigate Area 51 if elected.
Clinton made the comments at a campaign stop in New Hampshire last week, in which she told Daymond Steer of the Conway Daily Sun that she wouldn't rule out the possibility that aliens could have already visited.
"We don't know for sure," Clinton said.
She added that her campaign chairman, John Podesta, has encouraged her to look into Area 51, the top secret military base in Nevada, which is the subject of a host of alien-visitation theories.
"He has made me personally pledge we are going to get the information out," Clinton said. "One way or another. Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51."
The Huffington Post clarified in an article on Monday that Steer has since said he felt the conversation was more light-hearted than serious in nature.
CNN pointed out that former President Bill Clinton has talked about the issue at length, and in a 2007 interview with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said that he had personally reviewed government information on Roswell and Area 51, but had not seen any evidence to suggest that there has been contact with alien life forms.
"If we were visited someday, I wouldn't be surprised," Bill Clinton said at the time. "I just hope that it's not like 'Independence Day,' that it's a conflict."
Podesta has in the past called for the White House to release UFO files, and in a 2002 news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C said:
"It's time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark, on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It's time to find out what the truth really is that's out there. We ought to do it, really, because it's right, because the American people, quite frankly, can handle the truth, and we ought to do it because it's the law."
President Barack Obama was also asked by Kimmel in March 2015 to share any information government officials might secretly have on aliens, though he kept to joke answers.
"The aliens won't let it happen. You'd reveal all their secrets, and they exercise strict control over us," Obama said. "I can't reveal anything."