GOP House Intel Chairman Mike Turner said the Biden administrator had “no urgency” after the balloon incident.
The Chinese surveillance balloon has “fulfilled its mission” in monitoring US military sites, Turner said.
Defense Ministry officials advised against launching the balloon until it was over the Atlantic.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner has criticized the Biden administration for its lack of “urgency” in tackling the Chinese surveillance balloon.
The balloon, which spent five days hovering 60,000 feet above the United States and Canada, was shot down by an F-22 Raptor over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday. US military officials were recruited to recover and analyze the debris.
Speaking on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” show on NBC News, GOP Representative Turner expressed skepticism about President Joe Biden’s response to the international incident.
“Clearly taking the president across the Atlantic is like attacking the quarterback after the game is over,” Turner said. “The satellite had completed its mission. He should never have entered the United States and he should never have completed his mission.
Turner added: “If you asked someone to draw an X for every place where our sensitive missile defense facilities are, our nuclear weapons infrastructure, our nuclear weapons sites, you would put them all on that path. . This was clearly an attempt by China to gather intelligence to defeat our command and control of our sensitive nuclear weapons sites for missile offensives. And it is certainly an emergency that this administration does not recognize.
US officials have previously said the balloon posed no major threat in terms of physical danger or any information it could gather.
Turner joins a legion of Republicans who blame Biden for allowing the balloon to enter US airspace and remain there for several days. Many called Biden’s response slow, noting that his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, wouldn’t have allowed that to happen, Insider’s Lloyd Lee previously reported. According to the Associated Press, three Chinese surveillance balloons were discovered over the United States during the Trump administration.
Senior Department of Defense officials advised against launching the balloon over the continent due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground, according to a DOD briefing Thursday. The day before, Biden urged officials to get the ball rolling “as soon as possible.”
“The President allowed this to go beyond our most sensitive parts and would not even tell the American public. If you hadn’t spread this story, the American public wouldn’t even have known about it. There was no attempt to inform Congress, no attempt to bring the Gang of Eight together,” Turner said, referring to senior congressional leaders. “I think there is a lack of urgency in this administration.”
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