Donald Trump would have been impeached for a third time if a Chinese spy balloon had hovered over US airspace for several days while he was in office, the former president’s eldest son has claimed. Donald Trump Jr was reacting to Biden‘s delay in shooting down the suspected Chinese spy balloon, which crossed into the US on January 28 and was shot down by a US fighter jet seven days later.
The Pentagon said it had to wait until the balloon was over open water until it attempted to take it down over fears of falling debris landing on civilian areas.
But Republicans viewed the delay in shooting down the balloon as a failure on Biden’s part.
Trump Jr., who was one of those advocating for civilians to try and shoot down the balloon themselves, said that his father would have taken far more heat if the Chinese surveillance craft was so openly flying in US airspace for days while he was in charge.
“Trump would have been impeached a third time if foreign spycraft was parked over the US for four days—and ‘whistleblowers’ in the IC and DOD would have made sure of it. Complete and total BS,” Trump Jr. blasted on Twitter.
The timing of his tweet comes as military and defence officials said balloons similar to the one that was shot down over the weekend did fly over the US at least three times while Trump was president.
“PRC [People’s Republic of China] government surveillance balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time,” a senior defence official told reporters.
“We spoke directly with Chinese officials through multiple channels, but rather than address their intrusion into our airspace, the PRC put out an explanation that lacked any credibility.”
Trump has denied the claim that Chinese spy balloons entered US airspace during his time as President.
US evacuation ordered after train derailment explosion [LATEST]
Harry and Meghan will never ‘come close’ to royal wealth [REPORT]
China signalling ‘we can do what we want’ as US falls behind [INSIGHT]
“China had too much respect for ‘TRUMP’ for this to have happened, and it NEVER did. JUST FAKE DISINFORMATION!” the former president wrote on Truth Social.
China has repeatedly insisted that the balloon shot down on February 4 was a Chinese civil unmanned airship that blew into US airspace by mistake, calling it “an accidental incident caused by force majeure”.
Beijing has accused the US of indiscriminate use of force in shooting down the suspected Chinese spy balloon, saying it “seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing Sino-US relations”.
Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said he lodged a formal complaint with the US Embassy on Sunday over the “US attack on a Chinese civilian unmanned airship by military force”.
Feng added that the “United States turned a deaf ear and insisted on indiscriminate use of force against the civilian airship that was about to leave the United States airspace, obviously overreacted and seriously violated the spirit of international law and international practice”.
The presence of the balloon in the skies above the US dealt a severe blow to already strained US-Chinese relations that have been in a downward spiral for years.
It prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a high-stakes Beijing trip aimed at easing tensions.
Balloons thought or known to be Chinese have been spotted from Latin America to Japan.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told reporters on Monday that a flying object similar to the one shot down by the US had been spotted at least twice over northern Japan since 2020.
“We are continuing to analyze them in connection with the latest case in the United States,” he said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning confirmed that a balloon recently spotted over Latin America was Chinese, describing it as a civilian airship used for flight tests.
“Affected by weather and due to its limited self-control ability, the airship severely deviated from its set route and entered the space of Latin America and the Caribbean by accident,” Ning said.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.