Trump, others deny Chinese spy balloons flew across the U.S. during Trump administration

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Democrats and their cohorts in the media are quickly coming to Joe Biden’s aid as critics say Biden didn’t handle the Chinese spy balloon incident well. The spy balloon flying across America can easily be thought of as a test of Biden’s inclination to use force against Chinese intrusion.

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At first, the Biden administration and the Pentagon remained silent about the appearance of the balloon. Then a local news organization in Montana reported on it as it hovered over Billings. The word quickly spread to news outlets across the country. When would Americans have known about the story of a Montana news organization that had not reported on it? The most transparent administration – evah – sure doesn’t conduct itself as such. The administration was aware of the spy balloon approaching U.S. airspace when it was heading toward the Aleutian Islands. Allegedly they monitored it until the story broke. Why didn’t the president just call a news conference and address the balloon? Or, he could have used his bully pulpit, as Senator Marco Rubio suggested today on CNN, and told the American people what was happening and what he was going to do to handle the situation. As Biden is prone to do, he did nothing. He left it up to the Pentagon to decide when and where to shoot it down. As far as I know, Biden didn’t suggest that the military shoot the balloon in its leg.

The narrative today is that there were three times that Chinese spy balloons flew over the U.S. during the Trump administration. The catch is that no one from the previous administration is confirming that story. Trump, of course, was quick to deny that had happened during this time in office. Others like John Bolton, no fan of Trump these days, and Robert O’Brien also deny it.

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Trump said China didn’t pull such a move because the country “respected us greatly.” It’s unclear if he meant China respected the United States or specifically his administration.

“This never happened. It would have never happened,” Trump told Fox News Digital on Sunday morning, adding that Beijing “respected us greatly” under his leadership.

“It never happened with us under the Trump administration and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately,” Trump said. “It’s disinformation.”

Bolton and O’Brien said they never heard of any such incidents during the Trump administration.

“I don’t know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I’d never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018,” Bolton said. “I haven’t heard of anything that occurred after I left either.”

Bolton said that if the Biden administration has “specific examples, they need to tell Congress.”

He added: “I can say with 100% certainty, not during my tenure.”

“Unequivocally, I have never been briefed on the issue,” O’Brien said, telling Fox News Digital that his team, which included Matt Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser, and Allison Hooker, who served as senior adviser to Asia, also were not briefed on these activities.

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Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper said no one ever told him about it during his time at the Pentagon.

“I don’t ever recall somebody coming into my office or reading anything that the Chinese had a surveillance balloon above the United States,” Esper said during an appearance on CNN. “I would remember that for sure.”

And former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, who had previously served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, also told Fox News he never had heard of a Chinese spy balloon while he was in government.”

“Never heard a whisper and I have to think if anything like that happened that would have been a huge issue,” Miller told Fox News Digital. “No. Absolutely never heard of anything like that while I was in government or at the Pentagon.”

I tend to think that the claims that it happened during the previous administration are conveniently being told now because Biden’s competence as Commander-in-Chief is again called into question. He has not lived down his disgraceful performance during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He’s about to declare himself a candidate in the 2024 presidential election and has to pretend like he’s in charge and up to the challenges. Does anyone believe that this kind of thing happened during the Trump administration – not once but three times – and no one reported on it? Or, that the Secretary of Defense wasn’t briefed on a Chinese spy balloon in U.S. airspace? C’mon, man.

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This is the media acting as the communication arm of the DNC and covering for the Democrat president in the White House. Same old, same old.

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024
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