"I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible," Biden said to press in Hagerstown, MD following the news that the balloon had been shot down over the Atlantic Ocean around 2 pm.
"They decided without doing damage to anyone on the ground. They decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water," Biden continued. "They successfully took it down, and I want to compliment our aviators who did it, and we will have more to report on this a little later."
Before making his exit, a reporter attempted to seek clarification about who made the call to wait until the surveillance device had flown off the coast of the Myrtle Beach area.
"You were saying that the recommendation was from your national security—," the reporter said before being cut off by the president.
"I told them to shoot it down."
"On Wednesday?," the reporter asked
"On Wednesday," Biden replied definitively.
"But the recommendation from them—," the reporter was once again interrupted by Biden, who said, "They said to me, let's wait till the safest place to do it."
"What does this mean for our relationship with China?," the reporter asked, which Biden refused to answer and instead walked away.
Before two fighter jets circling the balloon took it down, the Federal Aviation Administration had issued a ground stop for airports located in Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, reported the Daily Mail.
The balloon, which had been flying at around 60,000 feet and was roughly the size of three buses, was known to the Biden administration for nearly a week before the news broke on Thursday, February 2, but the White House tried to keep its presence a secret as to not disrupt Secretary of State Antony Blinken's scheduled trip to China. The trip ended up being postponed after the public's discovery of the balloon.
Jack Posobiec tweeted, "BREAKING: DOD confirms Chinese skyship was spying on strategic areas and that it was being tracked while in Canada, says its intelligence collection activities were 'monitored'."
According to the Daily Mail, Chinese foreign ministry officials claimed the flying device was a civilian weather research airship, and said they regretted that it had "deviated far from its planned course" and entered US airspace.
US military officials had tracked the balloon as it traveled through Canadian airspace and entered American territory on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin updated Biden on the balloon, but it wasn't until Saturday that the Commander in Chief and the military officials could decide on taking action.
Join and support independent free thinkers!
We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
Remind me next month