Trump blasts Biden's response to China balloon
Many Republicans said the balloon was unprecedented.
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed President Joe Biden over his handling of the Chinese spy balloon over the United States, which he said never happened under his administration.
"The Chinese Balloon situation is a disgrace, just like the Afghanistan horror show, and everything else surrounding the grossly incompetent Biden Administration. They are only good at cheating in elections, and disinformation," Trump wrote on Truth Social one day after the military downed the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean after it had traversed the continental U.S., including over sensitive security areas.
"[N]ow they are putting out that a Balloon was put up by China during the Trump Administration, in order to take the 'heat' off the slow moving Biden fools. China had too much respect for 'TRUMP' for this to have happened, and it NEVER did. JUST FAKE DISINFORMATION!" Trump wrote.
The Defense Department said Saturday that "Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) supported Trump's comments during a CNN interview Sunday.
He acknowledged that the United States has seen Chinese balloons before, but said: "What we have never seen, what is unprecedented, and whoever the source was at the Department of Defense would have to acknowledge this, what is unprecedented is a balloon flight that entered over Idaho and flew over Montana, over all these sensitive military installations, air force bases, ICBM fields, right across the middle of the country."
He said having a balloon fly "briefly over some part of the U.S. ... that's one thing. But what we saw this week, it's unprecedented."
Former Trump White House national security adviser John Bolton told Fox News Digital that he had also never heard about China flying balloons over the United States.
"I don't know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I'd never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018," he said. "I haven't heard of anything that occurred after I left either."
Other officials, such as Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane, blasted the Biden administration's response to the balloon, saying that it should have been taken down earlier.