A former national security official in the Trump administration blasted President Joe Biden Friday over inaction as a Chinese spy balloon drifted across the United States.
“When you look at that balloon and if you look at the package closely, the sensor package, that seems about the size of a fire truck. It’s massive, and people need to understand where that thing is moving to. It’s going across the northwest, moving to the south, but the fact is it’s going across all of our major missile fields out there,” retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, a former national security advisor to Mike Pence, told “America Reports” co-host John Roberts.
“It’s going across the location where the 341st Missile wing, the 90th Missile Wing, the 91st, all of our 400 missile sites are under it. And the thing is, people don’t realize the slant range on the sensors is huge, because it’s like ok, I’m on the first floor of a building and I look out, different on the 50th floor of the building, so they are looking deep and vacuuming information. And the beauty that balloons give you, they can loiter, they can stay a long time, clearly and so what they are doing, they’re just collecting information on us, and I think it’s really unfortunate we have not done something about it,” Kellogg added. “I mean, this is really egregious.”
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The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Thursday that it had tracked the Chinese balloon as it crossed over Montana, where the 341st Missile Wing is based at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
The DOD said it opted against shooting down the balloon for fear of causing casualties and damage on the ground during a background briefing Thursday.
China claims the balloon was a civilian meteorological airship that went off course.
“They just should knock it down. In Montana, nine people per square mile. I mean, there’s not a lot – there’s a lot of space out there, and they should have made those decisions early, like Gillian said when that thing was coming earlier, they make the decision where to do it and when to do it out there,” Kellogg said.
“If you knock it down, look at the sensor package, what kind of sensors are these, and this is the thing – it’s not collecting and holding it, it’s transmitting this information back, and every day it sits out there, it’s collecting information and sending it back,” Kellogg continued. “We don’t know what it’s collecting, don’t know if it’s SIGINT, we don’t know if it’s human intelligence, we don’t know what it is out there, we do know it’s collecting.”
Other former Trump administration officials, including Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, a former Navy SEAL who also served as Secretary of the Interior, called for the Biden administration to down the balloon.
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