Did Donald Trump allow a Chinese spy balloon to come across U.S. territory as the Biden Administration did?
So who is telling the truth?
“PRC government surveillance balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time. We spoke directly with Chinese officials through multiple channels, but rather than address their intrusion into our airspace, the PRC put out an explanation that lacked any credibility.”
Several Trump Administration officials have discredited the report. And quite forcefully, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stated it was not true to Fox Business in a Sunday morning interview with Maria Bartiromo (note the transcript below is rushed, it seems, so please watch the video below for a little more clarity):
“Well, it’s not true. I can. I can refute it.
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper refuted it yesterday.
Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has refuted it.
But Maria, the American people can refute it for themselves.
Do you remember during the Trump administration, when photographers on the ground and commercial airline pilots were talking about a spy balloon over the United States that people could look up and see, even with it with the naked eye, and that a media that hated Donald Trump wasn’t reporting. I don’t remember that either, because it didn’t happen, as I said to you earlier. This was unprecedented. We have never had a circumstance where an adversary has had spy craft over our country, our continental United States, posing a threat for the better part of a week straight.
And that’s why I said to you before, the not only is an unprecedented, but the damage from this is incalculable, both from an intelligence standpoint and the possible payloads. You talked a little bit earlier about the different types of payloads that a stratospheric balloon could carry.
Those possibilities are limited only by your imagination. But what we do know is none of those are possible to be deployed against the United States if a stratospheric balloon isn’t allowed to traipse across our countryside for four straight days, something that has never happened before. But beyond that, intelligence damage, Maria, the other thing is that the damage that it wasn’t just 320 million Americans that were watching this balloon, you know, paralyzed for a week. It was Russia. It was Iran. It was North Korea.
It was American adversaries who also were surprised that this type of thing could happen and are frankly thrilled at the possibilities of what they could do to deploy the same type of stratospheric balloon or device over the continental mainland and have this kind of slow, weak, timid, late, frankly, terrible response by the Biden administration.”
Who is telling the truth? I would suspect we will know soon enough.