Former President Donald Trump and key members of his staff have refuted and strongly denied claims made by key Biden military officials regarding the Chinese spy balloon.
The balloon, which was shot down on Saturday evening, had been a source of embarrassment for the Biden administration, and a source of concern for many Americans.
In perhaps an attempt to mitigate both embarrassment and concern, the Biden administration gave a news briefing to address these issues on Saturday, and that’s where the topic of Trump came up.
“The People’s Republic of Communist 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 defense official said.
Given the general furor this one spy balloon has caused, it was actually quite the claim that there had been multiple spy balloons in the past — let alone “at least three” during the Trump administration.
Trump fired back at those claims in an interview with Fox News Digital on Sunday morning.
“This never happened. It would have never happened,” Trump said.
Per Fox News, Trump noted that Communist China “respected us greatly” under his administration.
“It never happened with us under the Trump administration and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately,” Trump said. “It’s disinformation.”
Trump then tore into the Biden administration, claiming that they were spreading this “disinformation” because “they look so bad, as usual.”
The former president added that the current administration was “incompetent.”
It wasn’t just Trump who denied these claims.
John Bolton, who previously served as Trump’s national security adviser, also denied the claims. It’s worth pointing out that Bolton and Trump’s relationship has turned positively acrimonious in recent years, so there’s little reason for Bolton to speak up other than to set the record straight.
“I don’t know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I’d never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018,” Bolton said. “I haven’t heard of anything that occurred after I left either.”
Bolton called on the Biden administration to provide “specific examples,” while also adding that he refuted those claims with “100 percent certainty,” at least in regard to his tenure.
Another former Trump national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, also refuted the Biden administration’s claims.
“Unequivocally, I have never been briefed on the issue,” O’Brien said.
President Joe Biden will have quite a few questions he’ll need to answer when delivers his State of the Union on Tuesday.
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