Fox News is now reporting the outlet uncovered that at least one balloon believed to be used in espionage operations by Chinese authorities passed over portions of the United States while Trump was president. This revelation directly contradicts Trump’s insistence such didn’t happen on his watch.
Trump’s original comments on the question were in response to statements from a defense official in the U.S. government. “The official said Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration,” an article posted on the website of the Defense Department said. Now, the Fox report, which also claimed there was an incident where a similar balloon crashed off the coast of Hawaii earlier during Biden’s presidency, has its own corroborating details. “Fox News has also learned that at least one Chinese spy balloon flew over portions of Texas and Florida during the Trump administration, despite the former president’s insistence it never happened,” per the outlet’s reporting.
All of this concern about balloons used by the Chinese government in espionage efforts is circulating in connection to such a balloon recently passing over portions of the U.S. before the military eventually shot it down off the coast of the Carolinas. Republicans have expressed theatrically feverish outrage over the delay before the balloon came down, despite the very real threat of impacts on people on the ground from suddenly dropping equipment in part bigger than a bus from tens of thousands of feet in the air.
In the water, the debris field after the military took the shot extended for seven miles, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. The idea there was some kind of reckless disregard for the potential seriousness of the situation is objectively ridiculous. What were they supposed to do? Cross their fingers that a fast-moving piece of equipment wouldn’t kill anybody when crashing to the earth if a fighter jet turned its firepower on it over some portion of U.S. land? With the amount of uncertainty — it’s not like people are shooting down balloons every Tuesday! — could they have ever really known it wouldn’t crash into god-knows-what on the ground? Be realistic, people! Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is one of those to which that argument would most prominently apply. She even talked on Twitter about an average American just firing up into the sky at it as though such was a reasonable possibility. It wasn’t.