A senior Biden administration official alleged three suspected Chinese surveillance balloons previously flew over the United States during former President Trump’s administration.
The information was reportedly discovered after President Joe Biden took office, though the official did not reveal how or when the incidents were discovered, CNN reported.
The Biden administration believes Chinese surveillance balloons have been deployed in multiple countries spanning five continents. The Intelligence community is reportedly willing to offer briefings to key former Trump administration officials regarding the discovery of Chinese surveillance, the outlet reported.
The transiting of three suspected Chinese spy balloons over the continental US during the Trump administration was only discovered after President Joe Biden took office, a senior administration official told CNN. https://t.co/TmZEe3VYXt
— CNN (@CNN) February 6, 2023
Former Trump administration Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he didn’t recall being informed of a Chinese surveillance balloon following the Pentagon’s statement alleging similar incidents had occurred during the former President’s tenure in office.
“The Chinese Balloon situation is a disgrace … now they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the ‘heat’ off the slow moving Biden fools,” said the former President addressing the allegation in a Truth Social post. “China had too much respect for ‘TRUMP’ for this to have happened, and it NEVER did.”
He added: “JUST FAKE DISINFORMATION!”
Trump reiterated his claim in a Sunday Truth Social post: “the Chinese would never have floated the Blimp (‘Balloon’) over the United States if I were President!”
“Did the Biden administration invent a time machine? What is the basis of this new detection?” asked former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton echoing the former President’s sentiment.
However, Bolton said he would participate in a Biden administration briefing on the alleged Trump-era Chinese surveillance balloon discoveries.
On Thursday, United States Brigadier General Pat Ryder revealed the suspected foreign surveillance balloon had been traveling for several days through northern states’ air space and was observed moving into Montana.
The United States military initially decided against shooting the surveillance balloon down, citing fear of endangering bystanders in the vicinity of the balloon, CNN reported. However, on Saturday, the surveillance balloon was shot down by a United States fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina.
President Biden claimed he ordered to Pentagon to shoot the Chinese surveillance balloon down after he was briefed about its existence last Wednesday, according to CNN.
House Republicans are reportedly considering the passage of a resolution condemning the Biden administration’s handling of the surveillance balloon.
“I will be demanding answers and will hold the admin accountable for this embarrassing display of weakness,” said Texas representative Michael McCaul, a Republican, who serves as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“That balloon should have been blown sky high the minute that it crossed US airspace,” said Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec during a Thursday appearance on Timcast IRL. “Every single second that it hangs there is another reminder of just how owned our politicians, our system, our businesses are by the Chinese Communist Party.”