Republicans are blaming Biden for letting a suspected Chinese spy balloon cross into the US. It happened 3 times during the Trump administration, officials say.

  • In Politics
  • 2023-02-05 04:29:00Z
  • By Business Insider
Donald Trump pointing at balloons.
Donald Trump pointing at balloons.  
  • Republicans are criticizing the Biden administration's response to the Chinese spy balloon.

  • "Would Trump have let China fly a spy balloon over our country?" Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted.

  • Chinese spy balloons were sighted three times during the Trump administration, US officials said.

A balloon US officials are calling a Chinese surveillance tool spent days flying over the continental United States before it was shot down by an F-22 fighter jet on Saturday. 

Pentagon leaders advised President Joe Biden against immediately shooting the flying orb out of the sky due to safety concerns for civilians as the high-altitude object was large enough to create a large debris field, a senior defense official who spoke on background told reporters Thursday.

The dayslong spectacle saw many Republicans criticize the Biden administration for what they viewed as a slow response to the foreign object, while some conservative leaders and pundits took the opportunity to pick at confidence under the Biden administration in general as they claimed no other leader such as Donald Trump would have let a Chinese spy balloon fly over the US.

"Would Trump have let China fly a spy balloon over our country?" Rep. Jim Jordan wrote on Twitter. "Would Reagan? JFK? Truman? No, no, and no."


But senior Pentagon officials said on Saturday that suspected Chinese surveillance balloons crossed into the US at least three times during the Trump administration and once earlier in the Biden administration, the Associated Press reported.

The senior defense official who spoke on background also said "a balloon of this nature" crossed over the continental US before the Biden administration but declined to specify when.

"It's happened a few times in recent years to include before this administration. But beyond that, I'm not going to go into the details," the official said.

It's also unclear if balloons spotted during the Trump administration were shot down. A Pentagon spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the AP that Chinese surveillance balloons were sighted several times in the past five years. Some of them have been spotted near US military bases in Hawaii, he said, though he did not specify when.

Trump on Thursday shared a post on Truth Social from rightwing activist Jack Posobiec, who claimed without evidence that the Pentagon was saying "the quiet part out loud. The CCP [Chinese Communist Party] can send spy balloons over our nuclear silos and we will do nothing."

In a statement to Fox News, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker claimed that "if press reports are correct, the Biden Administration hoped to hide this incident from the American people."

However, the times when suspected surveillance balloons crossed into the US under the Trump administration were never made public until this past week's incident.

South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott also chimed in and tweeted that "the balloon should have been shot down before it crossed the continental United States, not after," adding that the incident was a "dereliction of Biden's duty."

It's unclear what information the suspected Chinese spy balloon could have gleaned from its various positions. The Montana area the balloon flew over houses the Malmstrom Air Force Base which has intercontinental ballistic missiles.

US officials said the balloon poses little threat in terms of what intelligence it might gather.

The specific dimensions of the device were not disclosed to the public, but one senior official told ABC News that it was estimated to be the size of three buses.

A differing factor in this past week's balloon incident that the senior defense official did acknowledge is the length of time the object has been around.

"It is appearing to hang out for a long period of time this time around, more persistent than in previous instances. So that would be one distinguishing factor," he said.


More Related News

'War room' mentality pervades Mar-a-Lago with possible Trump indictment looming

Donald Trump doesn't want to be indicted, but he believes Republicans will rally around him if a grand jury in Manhattan charges him.

Judge approves
Judge approves 'crime fraud exception' in special counsel probe of Trump classified documents
  • US
  • 2023-03-22 21:25:54Z

Special Counsel Jack Smith's office presented sufficient evidence to establish that former President Donald Trump committed a crime through his attorneys, a ...

Trump's Attorney Ordered to Turn Over Documents to Special Counsel
  • World
  • 2023-03-22 21:14:12Z

(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump lost a critical court battle to keep legal details secret from the Justice Department about his alleged...

With An Indictment (Still) Looming, Trump Is Posting Through It
With An Indictment (Still) Looming, Trump Is Posting Through It

The former president is attacking Manhattan's district attorney - and his possible 2024 rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis - as he faces the prospect of...

Court orders Trump lawyer to provide docs in Mar-a-Lago case
Court orders Trump lawyer to provide docs in Mar-a-Lago case

A federal appeals court on Wednesday directed a lawyer for Donald Trump to turn over to prosecutors documents in the investigation into the former...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • {sbobet88
    (2023-02-06 01:51:37Z)

    I was suggested this website by means of my cousin.
    I'm not positive whether or not this put up is written by him as no one else
    know such specific approximately my trouble. You're incredible!



Top News: Politics