Biden Says Spy Balloon ‘Not A Major Breach’

During an interview, President Joe Biden said that the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the U.S. was “not a major breach.”

“It’s not a major breach. Look, the total amount of intelligence gathering that’s going on by every country around the world is overwhelming,” Biden told Noticias Telemundo.

The U.S. military shot down the spy balloon over the coast of South Carolina. The Department of Defense (DOD) first spotted it over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

“They made a wise decision. They shot it down over water, they’re recovering most of the parts, and they’re good,” Biden said.

An F-22 Raptor fighter jet and an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile were used in the operation of shooting down the spy craft.

According to the New York Post, the craft was equipped with antennas capable of collecting sensitive material.

It has been alleged that the balloon also carried explosives.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck stated that the potential for the surveillance machine to contain explosives “exists.”

“I can’t confirm whether it had explosives or not. Anytime you down something like this, we make an assumption that that potential exists,” he said.

“We did not associate the potential of having explosives with a threat to dropping weapons, those kinds of things, but out of a precaution, an abundance of safety for not only our military people and the public, we have to make assumptions such as that,” VanHerck added.

The surveillance balloon was also seen hovering over Montana, where Malmstrom Air Force Base is located. The base is home to more than 150 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) silos.

In Congress, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution condemning China’s use of the balloon, labeling the incident “a brazen violation of U.S. sovereignty”, contradicting the president’s portrayal of it as a minor breach.

However, the president acknowledged that the spy balloon was a “violation of international law.” “It’s our airspace. And once it comes into our space, we can do what we want with it,” he said.

Republicans criticized Biden for taking “too long” to shoot down the spy balloon.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) criticized the president for failing to address the nation when the situation arose.

“Why didn’t the president go on television? He has the ability to convene the country in cameras and basically explain what we’re dealing with here and why he’s made the decisions he’s making and what they intend to do,” Rubio said.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) also excoriated the president by labeling him as “paralyzed,” saying, “The president was paralyzed for an entire week by a balloon.”

If the balloon was “not a major breach,” why did the Biden administration shoot it down?

The incident comes as China expands its nuclear arsenal.

Recently, President Biden failed to mention the spy balloon during his State of the Union address.