Biden admin evades senator’s Chinese spy balloon questions: ‘More interested in covering up the truth’

FIRST ON FOX: The Biden administration evaded questions regarding the infamous Chinese spy balloon from Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who says the administration appears “more interested in covering up the truth.” A Chinese surveillance balloon was detected hovering over the Big Sky State in early February, traversing nearly the entire continental U.S. before the Biden administration decided to shoot down the spy craft. Daines told Fox News Digital that even briefings with intelligence officials left him with more questions than answers. On Feb. 9, Daines posed 10 questions for the Biden administration, including why the balloon was allowed to enter U.S. airspace, how close it got to Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base and missile silos, and what other sensitive national security and military sites it flew over – all of which remain unanswered. “The Pentagon’s response to my questions regarding the Chinese spy balloon fiasco shows the administration is more interested in covering up the truth and hoping it goes away than leveling with the American people, admitting where mistakes were made and working to ensure it never happens again,” Daines told Fox News Digital. DEMOCRATS’ COMMENTS ON CHINESE SPY BALLOON DID NOT AGE WELL AFTER REPORT OF REAL-TIME INTELLIGENCE GATHERING “Like the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan where 13 American lives were lost, this is a slap in the face for Montanans and Americans who watched the balloon float right over their homes and our sensitive military sites,” Daines said. “Now that we know the balloon was collecting intelligence, Montanans and the country deserve better, and I hope to see my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, hold this administration accountable.” WHAT WE KNOW NOW ABOUT CHINA’S SPY FLIGHTS IS WORSE THAN ANYONE IMAGINED Many had speculated the Chinese balloon gathered intelligence from U.S. military sites as it roamed freely across the country from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4 before being shot down in South Carolina. But despite the Biden administration’s attempt to block its intelligence gathering efforts, two senior U.S. officials and a former senior administration official told NBC News this week the vessel had, in fact, collected “intelligence from several sensitive American military sites.” DEMOCRATS’ COMMENTS ON CHINESE SPY BALLOON DID NOT AGE WELL AFTER REPORT OF REAL-TIME INTELLIGENCE GATHERING The collected intelligence primarily included electronic signals, which can come from weapons systems or base personnel communications, the publication said. Beijing received the information in real-time, according to the reports.  Reuters reported that the White House and Pentagon could not confirm whether the balloon had gathered the intelligence and fed it back to China in real time. “I could not confirm that there was real-time transmission from the balloon back to (China) at this time,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said, adding it’s something they’re currently analyzing, according to Reuters. Following the spy balloon fiasco, Daines introduced a bill to require a gap analysis of NORAD capabilities, essentially analyzing whether there are any missing components necessary to identifying potential threats from foreign aerial objects entering U.S. airspace.
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