Tester calls for hearing over Chinese spy balloon; Daines said ‘clowns’ could handle balloons better
(Missoula Current) Sen. Jon Tester on Friday said the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which he chairs, will hold a hearing regarding the Chinese spy balloon that crossed over Montana earlier in the week and has drifted into the eastern U.S.
Other Montana officials also have increased their criticism of the Biden administration for what they see as a lackluster response to the intrusion.
“It should have been taken down well before now,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a statement on Twitter. “If it was up to Montanans, the Chinese Communist Party's spy balloon would have been taken out of the sky the moment it entered our sovereign airspace.”
Gianforte also took to a Fox News talk show with Tucker Carlson and said that by its inaction, the U.S. had “emboldened our enemy.”
Daines also criticized the Biden administration, saying “a circus clown can handle a balloon better than the White House." In his response, Tester called for a hearing with the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“Montanans value their freedom and privacy and I’ll always fight to defend both,” Tester said. “China’s actions are a clear threat to those values and to America’s national security, and I’m demanding answers from the Biden Administration. I will be pulling people before my committee to get real answers on how this happened, and how we can prevent it from ever happening again.”
According to Fox News, the spy balloon was spotted Saturday over North Carolina. It was spotted on Tuesday over parts of Montana as it drifted south across the U.S. border.
Gianforte publicly confirmed the spy balloon two days later.