Republicans are criticizing President Joe Biden for what they deem a failure in response to the Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over the country this week. However, reports now surface showing that during Donald Trump’s term as president, at least three similar balloons traversed the nation, and he didn’t respond with the “show of force” that was demanded of Biden.
Not only did Trump not have Chinese surveillance craft shot down over land during his term, as his party suggests Biden should have done (despite a payload that scattered debris over miles of water and could have been disastrous over land, as military officials warned) but didn’t even reveal their existence to the public.
Trump has started his Sunday morning out with a denial on his social media account, insisting that it never happened, and that “China had too much respect” for him to dare.
However, the Department of Defense is telling an entirely different story.
An official release from the DOD newsroom affirms that Biden ordered the destruction of the balloon on Wednesday, but that military officials waited until it was over water for the safety of civilians.
It also notes that steps were taken to prevent the Chinese government from obtaining sensitive information via the balloon, and that the U.S. will gain valuable intelligence from it instead.
With regard to past similar surveillance, a senior Defense official shared:
“PRC [People’s Republic of China] 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.”
This most recent balloon was first spotted, the report notes, on January 28th, well before the public was aware of it.
Trump issued a denial on his Truth Social page, leaving the general public to make a decision about who they trust more: the former president or the DOD.
“They are only good at cheating in elections, and disinformation — and now they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the “heat” off the slow moving Biden fools. China had too much respect for “TRUMP” for this to have happened, and it NEVER did. JUST FAKE DISINFORMATION”!