Congressman Says Chinese Balloon Was A “Poke In The Eye” By China

( Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), the former lifelong Navy SEAL turned legislator, said the Chinese balloon “should have been shot down” as soon as it entered American land.

During a Saturday broadcast on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News, Zinke criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese surveillance balloon as “another example of displaying weakness.” “Look, it ought to have been brought down the instant it entered American airspace, period,” he said.  He characterized the balloon as a “poke in the eye.”

The American military shot down the balloon on Saturday after it entered American airspace a week earlier.

The balloon, which it later confirmed was a surveillance balloon belonging to the People’s Republic of China, governed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was allowed to do so because it was a public safety risk.

The fragments of the balloon and its monitoring equipment, according to the military official, stretched over the ocean for seven kilometers on Saturday.

A photographer in Montana first noticed the balloon around Thursday after seeing it float over Billings, but a senior defense official revealed during a press conference on Saturday that the Pentagon had been monitoring the balloon ever since it entered American airspace on January 28 just north of the Aleutian Islands.

Questions started to fly as soon as the Billings photographs hit the internet. Many public officials questioned why the Biden administration permitted the balloon to fly across the country from Montana to Missouri to its endpoint in South Carolina on Saturday when a missile destroyed it once it was over the ocean.

“The president was fine with us bringing the balloon down if we could prevent excessive danger to civilians, so we drew out an alternative to take it out over the ocean, and that’s what we did this afternoon,” a senior defense official said on Saturday after the balloon drama had concluded. Zinke noted the rural settings of the Aleutian chain and Montana, saying “it doesn’t hold any water there.”

According to Zinke, the “bottom line” was that “this is another instance of displaying weakness.” He said it all started very early in this administration with Afghanistan, that international display of weakness that, in his view, gave Putin the go-ahead in Ukraine.