The Chinese spy balloon that crossed through the U.S. a few months back scooped up intelligence from numerous key American military sites despite the Pentagon’s assertions of little threat, reported NBC News.
RNC Research shared a clip on Twitter that highlighted Joe Biden’s claims in February that despite the Chinese balloon flying unmolested for quite some time, all relevant sites were protected from having their intelligence collected. Biden’s statement back then sharply contradicts the reports that are now coming out of the mainstream media.
Biden, February 16: “We were able to protect sensitive sites against collection."
NBC, today: “Chinese spy balloon that flew across the U.S. was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive American military sites” pic.twitter.com/VhDG7dFEcM
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 3, 2023
In spite of these new reports, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has maintained that the Biden administration did take the proper precautions before and during the Chinese spy balloon’s traversing of the United States.
Despite reports confirming the Chinese spy balloon did, in fact, collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. military sites, Karine Jean-Pierre is STILL claiming Biden "took precautions in advance to ensure it didn't get sensitive information." pic.twitter.com/AroccKj8cW
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 4, 2023
Some people, however, have backtracked on previous claims that the Chinese balloon does not pose a threat to national security, including Democrat Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who previously claimed, “it doesn’t put our national security at risk.”
Now, Tester has posted that he will make sure to hold the Biden Administration accountable on the matter, asserting that the freedom and privacy of Montanans must be protected.
You literally went on CNN and said the Chinese spy balloon “doesn’t put our national security at risk.” #MTSen https://t.co/hSNgp15ZBB pic.twitter.com/HJBZKDVk0M
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) April 3, 2023
According to new coverage of the spy balloon incident, the Chinese aircraft intentionally flew over selected military sites several times, often going in a figure-eight motion. During this, it was sending collected information to Beijing in “real time.” Three intelligence officials reportedly relayed that the Chinese received the data via electronic signals gathered by weapons systems or base communications.
After receiving a comment request by NBC, the National Security Council pointed the outlet to previous comments made by the Department of Defense in February in which representatives stated the aircraft had “limited additive value” for the Chinese “over and above what [China] is likely able to collect through things like satellites in low earth orbit.”
CNN reported that Pentagon officials reacting to the fiasco in February found that little new intelligence was secured from the Chinese balloon operation, claiming that the Chinese seemed to stop sending information as soon as the U.S. was aware of the balloon. Given the aforementioned information about the aircraft flying figure-eight patterns around sensitive military sites, it appears these assertions did not turn out true.