Rubio Thrashes White House For Spy Balloon Disaster: ‘America is in Decline’
Florida Senator Marco Rubio blasted the Biden Administration on Sunday for allowing a Chinese spy balloon to float across the United States. Rubio, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Intel Committee, said the administration’s failures sent a message that the United States is in “decline.”
“They understood that it was going to be spotted; they knew the U.S. government would have to reveal it, that people were gonna see it over the sky,’ he continued. ‘And the message they were trying to send is what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once-great superpower that’s hollowed out; it’s in decline.”
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Rubio’s interview with This Week comes amid the revelation that another Chinese surveillance balloon crashed near Hawaii four months ago.
Fox News reported that another balloon had passed over parts of Texas and Florida during the Trump administration. Still, the claim was denied by the former president, who told Fox, “This never happened. It would have never happened.”
The Pentagon also claims that another Chinese balloon is currently working its way across Latin America.
“Obviously, look, countries spy on countries… What was the value of this platform? Because it’s one we’ve seen them use now for a handful of years here. But what’s the value of it?” Rubio said during the interview. “What are we going to do about it in the future?”
A Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. is alarming but not surprising
The level of espionage aimed at our country by Beijing has grown dramatically more intense & brazen over the last 5 years
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 2, 2023
The Biden Administration was reportedly aware of the balloon as early as January 25, when it violated American airspace over Alaska. Three days later, it was allowed to cross over the Canadian border into the United States, hovering over strategic positions in Montana, including many of the United States’s nuclear missile silos. The balloon spent the next week traveling the U.S. uninterrupted. It was only shot down after reaching the coast of South Carolina and clearing the mainland United States.
“I don’t know why they waited so long to tell people about this… When was it spotted? Why was it not brought down sooner over other areas? I’m open-minded to listening to the arguments they make about why it wasn’t dealt with sooner.”
Biden claims he wanted to shoot down the aircraft as soon as it was detected but was advised against it by his military staff. Pentagon officials claimed that the balloon had a seven-mile debris field that could have posed a risk to civilians on the ground. Officials say allowing the balloon to complete its tour of the United States was safer.
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It was a mistake to not shoot down that Chinese spy balloon when it was over a sparsely populated area
This is not some hot air balloon, it has a large payload of sensors roughly the size of two city buses & the ability to maneuver independently
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 3, 2023
‘This was deliberate. They did this on purpose,” Rubio said.
“The message they’re trying to send the world is, ‘Look, these guys can’t even do anything about a balloon flying over U.S. airspace. How can you possibly count on them if something were to happen in the Indo-Pacific region? How can you count on them if they’re not gonna do anything about a balloon over U.S. airspace? How are they going to come to the aid of Taiwan or stand with the Philippines or Japan or India when the Chinese move on their territory?”
China believes America is a weakened superpower with a reputation of strength that no longer holds true
And their message will now be that if Biden wouldn’t even shoot down a balloon,he isn’t going to do jack if China takes territory from India or Japan or invades Taiwan
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 4, 2023
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House Intel Chair Mike Turner (R) appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to discuss the shootdown. He said he is not aware of any current plans from the White House to brief the intel committees about the Chinese spy balloon or its shootdown.
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