Trump Says Chinese Balloon Report During His Administration’s ‘False Disinformation’

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed reports of alleged Chinese surveillance balloons that appeared during his administration, calling it “false misinformation.”

The Biden administration shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon Saturday afternoon over the Atlantic Ocean after hovering over US airspace for several days last week. Chinese officials have denounced the White House’s decision to shoot down the balloon, previously saying it was in fact an “airship” intended for weather research and veered off its intended path.

“The Chinese balloon situation is a disgrace, as is the horror show in Afghanistan, and everything else surrounding the grossly incompetent Biden administration. They are only good at cheating in elections and spreading misinformation – and now they say a balloon was set up by China during the Trump administration, to dampen the “heat” of Biden’s slow fools. China had too much respect for “TRUMP” for that to happen, and it NEVER happened. JUST FALSE MISINFORMATION!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

His remarks came after some news outlets reported that a few Chinese surveillance balloons appeared over the United States during Trump’s time as president. The Associated Press cited unnamed officials who confirmed such incidents on Sunday. Bloomberg also published a similar report.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee annual meeting January 28 in Salem, New Hampshire. Trump on Sunday criticized reports of alleged Chinese surveillance balloons that appeared during his administration, calling it “false misinformation.”
Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Chinese surveillance balloons have been spotted several times over the past five years in different parts of the Pacific, including near US military installations in Hawaii, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) on Saturday.

However, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who served in the Trump administration, insisted the China ball situation would never have happened if the former president was still in office.

“I can almost guarantee you that balloon wouldn’t fly if we were still here,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday.

Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said Thursday that this type of balloon activity had been “seen before in the last few years,” but that the United States acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was first spotted in Billings, Montana, home to one of three US nuclear missile silo fields. The situation caught the nation’s attention and calls to shoot down the balloon were made right after the sighting.

President Joe Biden initially wanted to knock the ball down when he was briefed on the situation on Wednesday, but national security officials initially refused to do so, citing potential safety concerns for those on the ground. The balloon was then shot down by an F-22 fighter jet, which fired a missile at the inflatable while it was about six nautical miles off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

China was unhappy with the decision to bring the balloon down, with China’s Foreign Ministry saying on Sunday that it “strongly disagrees” with the use of force to bring it down.

Newsweek contacted the Department of Defense and Trump’s media office for comment.


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