Suspected spy balloon floats over Montana
Suspected Chinese spy balloon floats over Montana. China says it is investigating the reports.
Montana Republicans are calling for aggressive action from President Biden regarding the suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted over the Big Sky State, home to one of the three nuclear missile silo fields in the U.S.
“Shoot. It. Down. The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot,” Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., a former Navy SEAL, tweeted urgently on Thursday.
The Pentagon addressed the suspected surveillance balloon that was detected over Billings, Montana and said Thursday that while they considered taking down the possible threat, they ultimately decided against any action due to “the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field,” according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
“From the spy balloon to the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok to CCP-linked companies buying American farmland, I’m deeply troubled by the constant stream of alarming developments for our national security,” Gov. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., wrote in a statement addressing the high priority concern.
US GOVERNMENT MONITORING SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON OVER NORTHERN STATES
Map shows approximate path of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. (Fox News)
The suspicious balloon, reportedly the size of three school buses, is currently being tracked by the U.S. government, but Montana lawmakers do not believe the Biden administration is doing enough to combat the potential threat.
Sen. Steve Daines , R-Mont., a fifth generation Montanan, demanded there be a “full security briefing from the administration on this situation.”
MONTANA SEN. DAINES 'ALARMED' AT CHINESE SPY BALLOON, SAYS 'SIGNIFICANT CONCERN' THAT ICBM FIELDS TARGETED
“The fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United States’ intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the targets of this intelligence gathering mission,” Daines wrote in a letter to Austin amid growing concerns over the balloon.
The U.S. government is “confident” that the balloon belongs to the People’s Republic of China , according to a senior defense official.
“It’s unacceptable to allow communist China to invade our airspace — this is another clear example of Chinese aggression,” Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., told Fox News Digital. “President Biden must start putting the American people first and recognize that China is a threat to our freedom, values, and way of life.”
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, Feb. 1, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. (Chase Doak)
Other Republicans have called for aggressive action against the suspected surveillance balloon.
“President Biden should stop coddling and appeasing the Chinese communists. Bring the balloon down now and exploit its tech package, which could be an intelligence bonanza,” Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted Friday.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Ten., also questioned why the Biden administration is not taking more serious action against the potential security threat.
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“Why won’t Biden shoot down the Chinese spy balloon that is currently flying over the United States? The Chinese Communist Party is a threat to our existence,” Blackburn wrote in a Twitter post.
Fox News Digital’s Houston Keene contributed to this report.
Aubrie Spady is a Freelance Production Assistant for Fox News Digital.
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