Elise Stefanik Demands Intelligence Briefing on Chinese Spy Balloon ‘Violating’ U.S. Airspace

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., questions top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, and ca
Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette via AP, AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the House Republican Conference Chair and senior member of the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, is demanding an intelligence briefing on the suspected Chinese spy balloon “violating” United States airspace.

“I am demanding an immediate intelligence briefing so that we can know exactly how this happened and what malign intentions are behind this spying to ensure we hold China accountable so the CCP does not violate American sovereignty again,” Stefanik said as a senior member of the Intelligence Committee and Armed Services Committee.

Leland Wells / LOCAL NEWS X /TMX

“The Chinese Communist Party’s violation of the United States’ airspace and growing military aggression is a threat to our national security. This should be a wakeup call for Joe Biden’s weakness on the world stage,” Stefanik added. “[Biden] can no longer allow China, our greatest geopolitical challenge, to undermine us.”

Stefanik’s demand for a briefing comes as Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Thursday that the United States has “detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now.”

Ryder added:

The U.S. government, to include NORAD, continues to track and monitor it closely. The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic, and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

Additionally, as Breitbart News Kristina Wong reported, a senior defense official told reporters during a briefing, “We are confident that this high-altitude surveillance balloon belongs to the [People’s Republic of China].”

The same official noted that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation and had asked for military options but was recommended by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, and the commander of NORTHCOM, Gen. Glen VanHerck “not to take kinetic action due to the risk to safety and security of the people on the ground from the possible debris field.”

On Friday morning, former President Donald Trump called for the Chinese spy balloon floating over the United States to be shot down. “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!” Trump said on his Truth Social.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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