Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) says the “number one thing” Americans should be talking about is the Chinese surveillance balloon that recently took a days-long trip across the country before the Biden administration ordered the military to shoot it down.
Greene spoke about President Joe Biden’s handling of the balloon as she held her own balloon during an interview with Breitbart News ahead of the president’s State of the Union on Tuesday.
Greene said, “It’s just a white balloon, everybody,” adding, “Joe Biden’s not afraid of balloons. As a matter of fact, he allowed the Chinese to bring a spy balloon across the United States last week.”
The balloon, which first captured the public’s attention last week after a photographer caught sight of it floating over Billings, Montana, entered U.S. airspace days prior, on January 28, near the Aleutian Islands, a senior Pentagon official said during a press briefing Saturday after the military had taken the balloon down.
“It’s really interesting,” Greene said. “I think everyone should know that the Pentagon, the Department of Defense, the president of the United States knew China was bringing a spy balloon towards our country on January 28. Then they allowed it to enter our airspace. They allowed it to traverse the entire United States, spy on multiple, multiple military bases with critical infrastructure, gather as much intel as they needed until it left the country, and then they shot down the spy balloon.”
The senior defense official said Saturday the Pentagon was “confident” that the balloon had indeed taken an unprecedented trip across the country and had specifically crossed over sensitive areas, including military facilities, but said the Pentagon “took all the necessary steps” to prevent the Chinese government, run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from collecting sensitive data.
Greene said, “You know, everybody’s talking about the economy today, but let me tell you what the American people are talking about. They’re talking about the Chinese spy balloon and the fact that our president did nothing about it.”
The defense official had defended the Biden administration’s decision to wait to shoot down the balloon, saying the president sought to “avoid undue risk to civilians and so we worked up an option to take it out over the water, and that’s what we did.”
Amid reports the balloon saga resulted in Biden possibly rewriting portions of his State of the Union that touched on China, a top U.S. adversary, Greene contended Biden would face challenges with taking any tone that challenges the communist-run country.
“Let’s be real, what tone can Biden take on China? He’s owned by China! We know about Hunter Biden. We know about his business dealings. We know it involved Joe’s positions of power going back to the vice president. Who knows what’s happened since he’s been president. … What Joe Biden should be doing is apologizing to America this week and telling Americans that he’ll take a tough stance on China because China’s going to take a tough stance on the United States.”
Greene, who gained a seat on the House Oversight Committee this Congress, will have a role in investigating Biden as the panel probes the extent of Biden’s alleged involvement in his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings.
“I think Americans are right when they’re telling me, ‘Marjorie, we are terrified over what happened. The president completely failed us,’ and I totally agree with them,” Greene said. “I think this is the number one thing we should be talking about.”
Greene said she hopes to bring the balloon, which she was carrying around Congress all day Tuesday, to the State of the Union but that she was doubtful security would allow her to enter the House chamber with it.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.