(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., said on Monday that Biden should be held responsible for letting China successfully gather intel by invading U.S. airspace and floating its way across the country.
Tester’s concern grew exponentially after NBC News reported on the extent of Chinese air assault, according to Fox News. The outlet cited two senior U.S. officials and a senior administration official who revealed that the spy balloon collected intel from several U.S. military sites, as the Biden administration floundered and failed to stop it.
“We knew all along that China’s invasion of our airspace was no accident,” Tester wrote.
We knew all along that China's invasion of our airspace was no accident. There's nothing more important than keeping America safe, and I'll keep holding the Biden Administration accountable to ensure Montanans' freedom and privacy are protected.https://t.co/Qj3ppgitr8
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) April 3, 2023
NBC reported that China could control the spy balloon, making it possible to transmit information in real-time as it made multiple passes over U.S. military sites. The officials added that China could have gathered even more intel if Biden had not attempted to block the electronic signals of the spy balloon.
That struck a personal note with Tester as a lawmaker from Montana, home to Malmstrom Air Force base and dozens of nuclear missile silos.
“There’s nothing more important than keeping America safe, and I’ll keep holding the Biden Administration accountable to ensure Montanans’ freedom and privacy are protected,” Tester wrote on Twitter.
When pressed on questions about the spy balloon, Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh tap-danced around the issue, according to Fox News.
“What we did do is take precautionary steps to limit the intelligence value that it would be able to collect,” she said. “…we took steps to protect our own military installations from foreign intelligence collection.”
Federal agents in Quantico, Virginia, continue to analyze scrap data retrieved from the crafts, but no further information is known.
“We’re still doing an assessment of what exactly the intel was China was able to gather. But we do know that the steps we took provided little additive value for what they’ve collected,” Singh said.