On Monday (April 3), Democratic Senator Jon Tester (Mont.) explained that China intended to invade U.S. airspace with a balloon that entered the country in February, revealing he would be holding the Biden administration accountable.
Taking to social media, Tester highlighted an article on NBC that revealed the Chinese balloon shot down in U.S. airspace had “gathered intelligence from sensitive U.S. military sites,” commenting that he “knew all along” that the Chinese balloon entry into the U.S. airspace “was no accident.”
The article, citing two senior U.S. officials and an administration official, asserted that despite efforts by the Biden administration to stop the balloon from gathering data, it did so anyway.
Tester continued his post by insisting that “There’s nothing more important than keeping America safe,” noting he would be “holding the Biden Administration accountable” in an effort to protect “Montanans’ freedom and privacy.”
The NBC article also revealed that China could control the balloon remotely, making multiple passes over military sites and transmitting the data gathered to China in real-time.
The three officials explained that China could have retrieved more intelligence from military sites if it wasn’t for the Biden administration’s attempts to obstruct the balloon’s electronic signals.
Also on Monday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh explained, during extensive questioning, that the administration had taken “precautionary steps to limit the intelligence value” of the data the balloon collected.
Singh reiterated many of the previous talking points about the administration’s efforts, saying the administration “took steps to protect our own military installations from foreign intelligence collection.”