A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wasn’t satisfied by what he heard from senior Biden administration officials on Monday during a closed-door briefing on the Chinese spy balloon incident.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R.Calif.), described the briefing by “unspecific, insufficient and backward-looking,” according to Fox News Digital, further telling the outlet that officials didn’t provide evidence to back up weekend claims by Defense officials that three similar flights took place when former President Donald Trump was in office.
“What I took away from this briefing confirmed that this administration and not the previous one had plenty of advance warning of an escalating Chinese espionage program, failed to act, and has now humiliated this country on the world stage,”Issa said Fox News Digital.
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced to the public that a Chinese spy ball had entered US airspace. Officials noted that it had been first detected off Alaska’s coast five days prior.
Biden’s administration permitted the balloon to travel across the US continent, and it was only shot down off South Carolina on Saturday.
A senior US defense official said that Chinese balloons are similar shortly after it was brought down by an American fighter jet. “transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration.”
Trump, along with several other former Trump officials, denied this claim.
Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck (head of North American Aerospace Defense Command) told reporters on Monday that the intruders were not detected by his organization.
“I will tell you that we did not detect those [previous] threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out,”VanHerck claimed.
VanHerck later clarified, and John Kirby NSC spokesperson confirmed that US intelligence agencies used “forensics”Only President Biden’s January 2021 election made it possible to recognize the Chinese spycraft incursions.
Kirby indicated that Trump’s administration will offer confidential briefings about the three balloons, and the way the intelligence community discovered their existence late in the night to certain senior Trump officials.
Ric Grenell, the former acting national intelligence director under Trump, told The Post Monday that he wouldn’t accept any such briefing.
“They are scrambling to justify their lack of action,”Grenell spoke to The Post. “If they believe a bureaucrat failed to notify politicals about a national security threat, then they should demand that the DOJ prosecute the individuals for treason — if the persons even exist.”
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