Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued during a recent Fox News interview that the Chinese spy balloon was gathering information on the U.S. infrastructure, not the military installations.
I don’t think they were actually looking … at our military sites, which is that’s what [Gen. Glen Vanherck’s] focus is,” Mullin told Neil Cavuto on Fox Business’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast.
The Oklahoma senator acknowledged:
I think they were looking at our infrastructure specifically, or specifically, our infrastructure, when we’re delivering crude and petroleum products from Alaska to the lower 48s. If you look at the flight pattern, where it came from, where it crossed, [it] is very suspect to me why that was flying that pattern when they say it’s out of control. I don’t believe it was one bit.
“I think they were obviously wanting to see if they could disrupt the supply of petroleum products just in case we went into a conflict with them,” he added.
Mullin was referring to the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down last weekend over the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina coast by the United States military. Despite U.S. officials knowing about the balloon days before it was shot down, the news only broke after American civilians first discovered the spy balloon floating over their homes last Thursday. All of this ultimately intensified tensions between Washington and China days before President Joe Biden was set to give his State of the Union address.
On Thursday, a senior State Department official said that newly declassified intelligence indicated that the equipment on the Chinese spy balloon was “inconsistent” with what would be aboard a weather balloon, since it had “multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications.”
The same person also claimed that the balloon was “part of a PRC (People’s Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations” with a manufacturer tied to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and that the U.S. “will also explore taking action against PRC entities linked to the PLA that supported the balloon’s incursion into U.S. airspace.”
It has also been reported that the Biden administration will “explore” taking action against Chinese entities that are involved in sending the spy balloon to the United States.
A recent Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Project poll conducted this week found that 63.4 percent think that “the crisis was mishandled” or “should have been dealt with sooner,” while only 36.6 percent think the Biden administration “appropriately” handled the situation.
Additionally, 58.8 percent agree that “Biden should have taken quicker action to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon before it even entered U.S. sovereign airspace,” and 59.2 percent also feel that Biden’s handling of the Chinese spy balloon made “America look weak” on the world stage.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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