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GOP Senators Assert US Firms May Have Helped Make Chinese Spy Balloon

Anastasia Boushee
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Republican senators have revealed that Biden administration officials did not dismiss the possibility that manufacturers in the United States helped to construct the Chinese surveillance balloon that was seen flying over the U.S. in recent weeks.

The officials reportedly didn’t deny the “very disturbing possibility” while discussing the issue in a classified briefing with senators on Thursday.


After the briefing with officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the State Department, Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) revealed that a question was raised in the meeting about American companies’ involvement in the construction of the Chinese spy balloon — and officials did not answer definitively.

“American companies shouldn’t be helping build spy satellites that are used against their own citizens,” Sullivan told reporters at the Capitol after the briefing.

“Maybe there’s nothing to be said about that, but somebody asked about it, and nobody, nobody in that briefing said, ‘oh, it’s not a problem,’” he added.

Hawley discussed the issue during an interview with Fox News Digital, expressing his concern over the matter.

“Of course I’m concerned about the possibility of that,” he said.


“I don’t think there was any definitive answer on that. But…the question was asked by a senator and, you know, I think that that’s, that’s a very, a very disturbing possibility,” Hawley added.

“Obviously, the other thing that it made was crystal clear from this briefing was how unprepared, totally unprepared the administration and frankly, the Pentagon was for this to happen,” he continued.

Hawley went on to discuss his frustration over the fact that the U.S. had been aware of previous balloons flying over the U.S. in the past, but had “nothing prepared” to deal with future occurrences.

“And listen, they’ve already made it public that we’ve known that there have been previous balloon flights over U.S. territories and, of course, the United States in years past,” he said. “They knew that already, and yet they had nothing prepared to deal with this espionage balloon that came right over the United States. I mean, it’s really it is, it is an incredible, incredible lack of planning. And frankly, I think major, major lapses of judgment.”

Fox News has also confirmed that the Chinese surveillance balloon had western-made parts with English writing on them.

Meanwhile, the State Department spoke about the issue earlier Thursday, stating: “We are confident that the balloon manufacturer has a direct relationship with China’s military and is an approved vendor of the PLA, according to information published in an official procurement portal for the PLA.”

Sullivan also noted that he encourages officials to continue providing briefings on the surveillance balloon — which entered the U.S. through Alaska, traveled through Canada and then entered the country again through northern Idaho. It was finally shot down off the Carolina coast, but not before it traveled over the U.S. and reportedly collected data.

“What we were just briefed on there, I think it should just be made public, right. Let the American people know the extent of the challenges,” the Republican senator said. “You know, when JFK realized we had missiles on the island of Cuba, right? The United States went public, so we should let people know when this has happened previously. Explain it, explain why we didn’t, but I think that’s going to be up to the executive branch.”

Critics have called out the Biden administration over their lack of transparency regarding the surveillance balloon, especially in light of the fact that they had known about it long before the public was made aware.

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