Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, spoke out against the Biden administration's response to a Chinese balloon over the U.S. that the military shot down on Saturday.
Wicker argued that President Joe Biden's response was a signed of weakness and that he owed the American people an apology.
Wicker calls Biden handling of Chinese spy balloon a ‘disastrous projection of weakness’ https://t.co/ZMiu95m8Oq
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 5, 2023
"Allowing a spy balloon from the Communist Party of China to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of weakness by the White House," Wicker said. “It is clear that standard protocol for defense of U.S. airspace was ignored."
Wicker added: "If press reports are correct, the Biden Administration hoped to hide this incident from the American people from the start. The White House owes Congress and the American people answers about this failure, and I intend to get those answers without delay."
The Chinese Spy Ballon has been eliminated. Shot down by fighter jets off the Carolina coast. pic.twitter.com/FunhGnePxQ
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 4, 2023
Biden ordered the action on Wednesday, according to the Space Force, but was delayed until the balloon was over water off the coast of South Carolina to ensure no Americans were harmed.
"The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters," Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said.
The action was taken in coordination and support of the Canadian government. "We thank Canada for its contribution to tracking and analysis of the balloon through [North American Aerospace Defense Command] as it transited North America," Austin said.
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) February 5, 2023
"Today's deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President Biden and his national security team will always put the safety and security of the American people first while responding effectively to the PRC's unacceptable violation of our sovereignty," Austin added.
The balloon became a national focus last week as it was spotted over Montana and revealed that it belonged to China.
Many argued that the balloon should have been detected and destroyed before entering U.S. airspace, not afterward.
A second balloon was also confirmed passing over Latin America as well, adding to concerns over Chinese security interests.
The balloon takedown was successful but not until after projecting the nation's weakness due to the Biden administration's slow response.