Texas Sen. Ted Cruz rips Biden for allowing Chinese balloon to fly over entire country before shooting it down
02/08/2023 // JD Heyes // Views

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said President Joe Biden did the right thing shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina last weekend, but that he should never have let it cross the United States first.

"So this balloon traversed 11 states, but the Pentagon says they were able to mitigate some of its impact. Do you think there is upside to the fact that this was captured this time?" Margaret Brennan, host of CBS' "Face the Nation," asked the Republican senator on Sunday.

"Well, listen, I want to start by doing something that I don’t do very often, which is commending Joe Biden for actually having the guts to shoot this down. That was the right thing to do. That is absolutely what the President should have done. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that until a week after it entered U.S. airspace," Cruz responded.

"He allowed a full week for the Chinese to conduct spying operations over the United States, over sensitive military installations, exposing not just photographs but the potential of intercepted communications. And-and more broadly, I think this entire episode telegraphed weakness to [President] Xi [Jinping] and the Chinese government," he went on.

"And to illustrate why I would just ask one-one hypothetical question: Imagine how this would have played out if nobody had taken any pictures of the balloon, if nobody in Montana had looked up and noticed this giant balloon, if it wasn’t in the news. We know that when the Biden administration knew about the balloon, they said nothing, they did nothing, they didn’t shoot it down," he continued.


"And at the end of the day, I think the only reason they shot it down is because it made it into the news and they felt forced to as a matter of politics rather than national security. That’s a bad message for the Chinese government to hear," he said.

Brennan asked: "Well, the Pentagon has since disclosed that it’s apparently happened four times before, never quite like this. Back in 2020. the Trump administration shuttered the Chinese Consulate in Houston after detecting espionage. Do you think there needs to be more diplomatic fallout on that scale now?"

Cruz was adamant in his response.

"Look, I think there does," he began. "When the Trump administration shut the Chinese consulate in Houston, I spoke with [then] Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about it. And what they had discovered about the espionage activities being carried out in the state of Texas by the Chinese government was horrifying," he said.

"Right now, there is a Texan, Mark Swidan, who is a political prisoner. He is a hostage in China. He’s been there for 10 years. This past week, I introduced a resolution on the floor of the Senate, along with [fellow Texas Republican Sen.] John Cornyn, calling on China to release Mark Swidan. He’s wrongfully imprisoned. He’s been there 10 years, they’ve sentenced him to death on charges for which they have little to no evidence, and-and I had been urging Tony Blinken when he was going to Beijing, to raise Mark Swidan’s case and to make the case for Mark to be released," he noted further.

"China, if they want to demonstrate that they’re not bad actors, if they want to demonstrate that they can aspire to being a great nation, they should release Mark Swidan because great nations and great powers don’t hold political prisoners," Cruz told the host.

For the record, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is calling out senior Pentagon and U.S. intelligence figures for failing to inform Trump about incursions that were taking place, if they indeed were, during his term.

“Defense officials now claim that Chinese Spy Balloons briefly flew over the U.S. during the Trump admin, but if true, WHY is this just now being reported?…”this information was discovered after the Trump administration left. How do they know now?” she asked.

“If it’s true the Pentagon purposely did not tell President Trump of Chinese Spy Balloons during his administration then we had a serious breach in command during the Trump admin. The POTUS is the Commander in Chief. We must investigate and hold accountable those who broke rank,” she continued.

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