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Cruz Reveals What Secret Briefings Said About Chinese Spy Balloons Under Trump - 'Hundreds of Classified Briefings'

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At first, it was just a Chinese spy balloon flying over U.S. airspace that we couldn’t shoot down because of the risk to people on the ground.

But don’t worry, President Joe Biden’s administration told the world: We’re getting more data from it than it’s getting from us, so it’s a good thing in disguise.

Then, two more balloons had flown over U.S. airspace during former President Donald Trump’s years in office. “See?” the White House seemed to say. “Twice as many balloons under Trump. The weakness didn’t start here!”

Then, after numerous Trump officials came out and said there definitely weren’t any Chinese spy balloons visible to the naked eye that shut down airspace and forced the military to scramble its jets, the White House responded: Oh yes there were, they just didn’t know it. But we know now. We’re just not telling you how.

Rubbish, says GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

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In a Monday appearance on Fox News, two days after the balloon was finally shot down, the Texas Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee noted he’d sat through “hundreds of classified briefings” and heard nothing about these pernicious balloons that were only detectable after Trump left office.

“The only place I have heard about this is through the leaks from the Biden administration,” Cruz told host Jesse Watters.

“Over the past 10 years, I’ve served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I have been in hundreds of classified briefings, and what happened with this spy balloon was an absolute disgrace.

Should Biden have shot the balloon down sooner?

“For a week, Biden sat there, wringing his hands, unsure of what to do,” he continued. “Demonstrating weakness. He let this balloon hover over sensitive military facilities, presumably taking photographs, taking infrared, no doubt, trying to intercept communications and likely sending all of that data up to satellites and back to Beijing.”

“After it had completed its mission, only then did Biden discover the courage to shoot the damn thing down.”

“He should have shot it down on the front end,” Cruz said. “If it happened under Trump and if it was similar, it should have been shot down then. But we don’t have any evidence of that, and I look forward, this weekend, to what better be classified briefings for the Senate about what happened here and what the real exposure is.”

Cruz’s Fox News appearance came on the same day that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave a highly unconvincing answer to a question about how it was “possible that this administration discovered at least three previous balloons that flew over the U.S. under the previous administration, but Trump officials didn’t know it was happening.”

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“Yeah, so, look, I think that — and we have talked about this before, about how the — when it — when the PRC government surveillance balloons trans- — trans- — trans- — transited the continental U.S. briefly at least three times, as you just mentioned, during the president’s — the prior administration and once that we know of the beginning of this administration’s,” Jean-Pierre said. “But never for this duration of time, as we know.

“This information was discovered prior to the admin- — administration left, but the intelligence community, as I said, is prepared to give — give briefings to key officials. But this is something … that they were not aware of, as we just laid out.”

The best assessment of Jean-Pierre’s explanation may have come from this fine gentleman:

This is impossible to take seriously, and yet the media has — despite the fact the administration isn’t willing to come forth with the evidence these balloon overflights happened during the Trump administration even as it disclosed numerous details about this overflight, right up until the airship was shot down.

Even if these prior balloon flights happened, that’s still no excuse for the lack of a response from the president or the administration this time, when they knew full well that Beijing had breached our airspace and was recording sensitive data. If they want to go convince Congress that the Trump administration was derelict in its duty by failing to detect the prior flights, fine. That still doesn’t explain away their own dereliction of duty. Instead, it’s a suspect example of finger-pointing to try and detract attention from a dithering president who can’t confront Beijing’s communists directly — and, as a result, has merely invited more Chinese spy balloons to waft leisurely over the fruited plain, collecting all the data the CCP’s little heart desires.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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