Joe Biden has been getting a lot of backlash for taking so long to react to the Chinese spy balloon floating over our military installations and letting it traverse our country for a week.
As I noted there are some questions about the timeline that they have given. The balloon entered our airspace over Alaskan waters on Jan. 28 but White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that Biden was “briefed on Tuesday” [Jan. 31]. So they didn’t react until it was already over the continental United States, re-entering from Canada around Idaho on Jan. 31. That certainly needs to be answered more fully as to why it even took that long to seemingly have any reaction at all.
But now, seemingly in reaction to the criticism of Biden from those on the right, there’s a report from an unnamed Pentagon official who claims that three balloons made it into U.S. airspace during the Trump years. There’s also a report of another one entering during Biden’s time. But none of those were comparable for how long this balloon was over the U.S.
DOD story cites unnamed DOD official to say 'Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental US at least 3 times during the prior administration.' AP says there was also one previous time in Biden administration left out of DOD story. We need more information.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 5, 2023
Now there are problems with this: unnamed source, no description of alleged “incursions” where or how long, or anything like that. Plus nothing was as long or as obvious as the incursion this week.
Those claims are being seriously shot down by the Trump team including President Donald Trump and multiple Trump officials.
Trump’s Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says that he was “surprised” by such a report. He said he was never told about any Chinese spy balloons when he was secretary between July 2019 and November 2020, “I don’t ever recall somebody coming into my office or reading anything that the Chinese had a surveillance balloon above the United States.” “I would remember that for sure,” Esper said.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton (who would sell Trump down the river in a red hot minute if he could) said it didn’t happen, he had never heard of any such thing under his tenure.
“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.”
Trump scotched the rumor completely and hit back at the Biden team for disinformation.
“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.”
Trump said the Biden administration is spreading this because “they look so bad, as usual.”
“They are incompetent,” he said.
If this is seriously being put out there to try to cover for Biden, not only is that shameful but once again, it shows more problems in departments and agencies that should be objective — not just places like the FBI, but the Pentagon as well. Moreover, if this had happened under Trump, I’m betting it would have been leaked long before now to attack him if he was at all weak on the subject. But now we’re back to the “unnamed sources” trying to smear Trump to help Biden.