Credit: Fox News
Representative Brian Mast said on Monday that he believes the Biden administration wouldn’t have shot down the Chinese spy balloon, had Americans not discovered it for themselves while it traveled over Montana.
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The Florida Republican went on “Fox & Friends” to discuss the Biden administration’s response to the balloon, which was also equipped with sensors and surveillance equipment.
Mast said that China’s increased espionage capabilities are for the “purpose of making China stronger, gathering intelligence on America, and ultimately making America weaker.”
He listed some examples that include “the Chinese spying apparatus, human intelligence, geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence, buying up farmland outside military bases, buying up ports in places like the Bahamas and on either side of the Panama Canal, and what they’re doing with TikTok.”
Mast said that he believes former President Trump and former Trump officials’ claims that any previous China spying balloons were undetected.
He said it “doesn’t add up” that the military knew about prior flights during Trump’s administration, but that they didn’t report them to the president or any other top-ranking officials.
Mast also explained on the show why the Chinese spy balloons are such a big deal.
“We’re familiar with the idea that satellites can gather information. I think we’re probably also familiar with the idea that a balloon is traveling much slower than a satellite, and it’s in a much lower orbit than a satellite. The point of all this is that it takes clearer images than what you’re going to get out of a satellite spy capability.”
Mast also mentioned that he doesn’t buy the Pentagon’s justification to shoot down the surveillance balloon until it reached the South Carolina coast. He said the Biden administration wasn’t concerned about the balloon until Americans found out about it.
“The only reason that the administration started to care about it was because the American people heard about it. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he was going to go to China regardless of what they were doing with TikTok and buying up land and stealing intellectual property and other things. He was going to go to China regardless. He only canceled his trip because the American people found out about the balloon. If nobody knew about it, he’d still be out on a jetliner on his way over.”
The Chinese balloon that traveled over the entire United States was most likely able to send data to the CCP before it was shot down by the U.S. military on Saturday.
Military officials took out the balloon exactly one week after they first discovered it in Alaska.
On Thursday, the Pentagon said they “acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information” from the balloon.”
Experts say there is very little reason to believe those efforts were actually successful. The balloon almost certainly transmitted data to China as it flew past several military bases.
There is currently another ballon flying over Latin America.