Pentagon says no harm from CCP spy balloon, pivots to Trump as Biden boasts: ‘I told ’em to shoot it down

After the saga of China’s spy balloon stretched on for the better part of a week, President Joe Biden behaved as though decisive action had been taken with his order to “shoot it down” while the Pentagon shamelessly endeavored to find fault in former President Donald Trump.

(Video: CNN)

Biden put on his best tough guy walk Saturday as he stepped off Air Force One and strode over to waiting members of the press to brag about taking down the airborne surveillance device after it was given time to chart a path from Montana to South Carolina.

“When I was briefed on the balloon, I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” he explained. “They decided without doing damage to anyone on the ground — they decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water outside within our — within 12 mile limit. They successfully took it down. And I want to compliment our aviators who did it. And we’ll have more to report on this a little later. Thank you.”

“You were saying the recommendation…was from your national security–” a reporter prodded as the president cut in, “I told them to shoot it down.”

“On Wednesday?” he was asked to clarify.

“On Wednesday. They said to me, let’s wait ’til the safest place to do it,” Biden contended as he walked away ignoring other questions that included, “What does that mean for China? Relations with China?”

Whether the president spoke in error remains unclear as according to CNN, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley had briefed Biden on Tuesday about the balloon. What’s more, the report indicated that the briefing took place before the balloon entered U.S. airspace as the outlet suggested, “Milley informed Biden the balloon appeared to be on a clear path into the continental United States, differentiating it from previous surveillance craft.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Greene (R-NC) made note of this in a statement Saturday where he said it was “indefensible that this threat was eliminated only after great public outcry and the damage to U.S. national security and American sovereignty was already done.”

“The fact remains that President Biden, when faced with the opportunity to protect the homeland from our adversaries, chose yet again to demonstrate weakness on the global stage. From the Southern border to Afghanistan and, now, Chinese surveillance directly above our homes and sensitive military installations, this President shows he is not interested in protecting American interests.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon seemingly downplayed the entire story employing a loose definition of the term “threat” when they pivoted to making the story about Trump. According to the Department of Defense’s website, “The balloon did not pose a military or physical threat. Still its intrusion into American airspace over several days was an unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty. The official said Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration.”

Leftists like podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen snapped at the chance to engage in Trump Derangement Syndrome as he shared the story and commented, “Wow. The US military just confirmed in an official statement that there were at least THREE Chinese spy balloons that flew over the US when Trump was president. Trump kept it a secret and did not shoot them down. The Republican narrative just imploded.”

This report introduces more questions than it answers as it leaves out the duration of which the “balloons briefly transited” American airspace, where in that airspace they actually may have gone, and perhaps most importantly when comparing the actions of the two presidents, what Trump’s response was that resulted in the balloons not needing to be shot down.

Additionally, a senior defense official confirmed that analysts were able to interact with the surveillance equipment to gather their own intelligence from it and said, “I would also note that while we took all necessary steps to protect against the PRC surveillance balloon’s collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon’s overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us.”

“I can’t go into more detail, but we were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable,” the official added.

CNN’s chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto reported this as well tweeting Saturday, “Notable: US officials say they were able to block the balloon from gathering intel during its overflight of the US, while the US military was able to turn the tables, so to speak, to gather intel on the balloon itself and its equipment.”

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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