Jon Tester Tries to Toughen Stance on Chinese Spy Balloon After Claiming It ‘Doesn’t Put Our National Security at Risk’

Balloon - Tester
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Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) — who previously claimed the Chinese spy balloon that President Joe Biden allowed to fly over the United States “doesn’t put our national security at risk — now claims he will “keep holding the Biden Administration accountable” over its handling of the balloon.

Biden allowed the Chinese spy balloon to travel over the country for several days before ultimately shooting it down on February 4.

Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then appointed Tester, who is up for reelection next year, to lead a Senate investigation into the U.S. Defense Department’s handling of these Chinese spy balloons.

On Monday, NBC News reported that the Chinese spy balloon “was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive American military sites, despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it from doing so,” citing two current senior U.S. officials and one former senior Biden administration official.

One of the military sites the spy saloon flew over was Malmstrom Air Force Base in Tester’s home state of Montana.

“We knew all along that China’s invasion of our airspace was no accident,” Tester said in response to NBC News’s report. “There’s nothing more important than keeping America safe, and I’ll keep holding the Biden Administration accountable to ensure Montanans’ freedom and privacy are protected.”

However, just days after U.S. Military shot down the Chinese spy balloon, Tester told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it “doesn’t put our national security at risk.”

Tapper asked Tester if he felt there was no military threat from the balloon after he received a classified intelligence briefing on the issue.

“I am much more comfortable with the explanation of what they collected,” Tester responded. “Let me put it this way, it doesn’t put our national security at risk.”

Tester also said he does not know if the American public will ever receive answers from the intelligence community about the spy balloon.

“One of the Pentagon officials that you’re hearing said it could be days or weeks before all the debris is recovered from the ocean,” Tapper said. “When will the public get answers about what this balloon was specifically doing and what was collected?”

“I don’t know if the public will ever get the answers. That will be up to the intelligence community, but I will say this, there’s a lot of smart guys that work in our military and in our Intel,” Tester said. “They’re going to collect it, they’ll put it back together, they reverse engineer it, and they’ll know exactly what they were doing, but it’s probably going to take some time.”

Watch: Tester: Chinese Spy Balloon ‘Compromises’ American Safety

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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