Schumer breaks silence on Chinese spy balloon, praises Biden admin for shooting it down
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., offered praise for the Biden administration’s decision to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that had hovered over several states in the last two days.
‘I strongly condemn President Xi’s brazen incursion into American airspace, and I commend President Biden’s leadership in taking down the Chinese balloon over water to ensure safety for all Americans,’ Schumer wrote in a tweet, following the U.S. military’s removal of the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean.
‘Now we can collect the equipment and analyze the technology used by the CCP,’ Schumer added.
Schumer, who has been largely silent on the Chinese spy balloon since it entered American airspace earlier this week, offered his comments after the U.S. military shot down the Chinese spy balloon from airspace just off the coast of South Carolina.
The balloon, which made its way across North Carolina and South Carolina Satruday morning, was shot down by U.S. military fighter jets on Saturday afternoon, according to Fox News sources.
A senior defense official said during a Thursday afternoon briefing that the U.S. government is ‘confident’ the surveillance balloon is from the People’s Republic of China.
President Biden said after the operation that he gave authorization on Wednesday to shoot down the balloon ‘as soon as possible,’ and the Pentagon chose to wait to shoot it down until it was over the ocean.
Several Republican lawmakers and governors have criticized the Biden administration for its lack of communication on the issue and for not shooting the balloon out of American airspace while it hovered over sparsely populated areas of the country.
‘What the Pentagon has said was we didn’t want to shoot it down because of the chances of civilian casualties. This is a balloon that didn’t get here overnight. It was over the Aleutian chain, which is one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet,’ Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., told Fox News Digital on Friday.
‘We have received zero communication from the Biden Administration regarding reports of the suspected Chinese spy balloon now flying over Missouri,’ Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wrote in a tweet on Friday. ‘We have heard no explanation or plan to remove it. Why has this been allowed to reach our heartland? Why has it not been eliminated?’
Similarly, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, during a Saturday morning appearance on ‘Fox and Friends Weekend,’ blasted the Biden administration’s communication about the balloon.
‘We’re informed through our national guard,’ Gianforte said. ‘We knew nothing about this until this slow moving balloon was hundreds of miles into the state. It had already flown over military installations and it was over our most populous city in the state.’
Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.