Marco Rubio Demands Answers on Chinese Spy Balloon: ‘They Failed to Act to Stop It’

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks to reporters after a closed-door briefing on the Chinese surveillance balloon that flew over the United States recently, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was demanding answers Wednesday about the Chinese spy balloon that made its way across the United States before the U.S. military shot it down over the Atlantic Ocean.

“Our competition & relationship with China is THE central challenge of our time & at the core of virtually every major issue we face,” Rubio said.

“Yet Biden barely mentioned it last night & only made a passing & vague reference to the spy balloon incident,” he continued, referencing President Biden’s State of the Union speech. 

“Our government knew a Chinese military spy balloon was going to enter the airspace over the continental U.S. at least TWO DAYS BEFORE it happened. Yet they failed to act to stop it,” he continued, contending officials only notified congressional leaders “minutes before the media ran with the story.”

Rubio added that Biden “must disclose” when the administration knew about the spy balloon and provide an explanation to Americans as to why they failed to stop it. 

“And because we don’t have a deconfliction ‘hotline’ with China issue a clear & public statement about what actions we will take if it happens again,” he demanded:

Rubio’s demand for answers comes days after the U.S. military shot down the balloon off the Carolina coast — only after the balloon traveled across the U.S. through Montana, Kansas, Missouri, and more. China claimed the balloon was nothing more than a “civilian” aircraft conducting weather research, which, it claims, veered off course. 

The U.S. Navy is now recovering the remains of the surveillance balloon. 

“I would remind you that due to ocean currents, it’s possible that there may be some debris that does float ashore,” Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck warned.

“And so what we would ask of the public, and you can help me with this, is avoid contact. Contact local law enforcement immediately to take care of any of that debris” he added. 

Rubio is far from the only lawmaker to criticize Biden’s handling of the Chinese surveillance balloon, as Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) told Breitbart News Saturday. “A circus clown knows how to better handle a balloon than the White House.”

“Malmstrom Air Force Base is in Great Falls, Montana. It is the home to about 145 to 150 intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Daines said, speaking of the path of the balloon. “Any one of those has forces that are weapons of mass destruction with incredible precision. In fact, the motto of that air force base was ‘scaring the hell out of America’s enemies since 1962.’”

“This was really more of a trial balloon; perhaps they call it a spy balloon. The Chinese were testing our forge, and we flunked the test,” Daines added.


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