(CNSNews.com) – The days-long flight of a Chinese spy balloon across the continental United States — visible to the public down below — should be a “wake-up call for the American people,” said Robert O’Brien, the former national security advisor under President Donald Trump.
“Putting the Pentagon aside, we’ve got a hundred million or more TikTok users. That’s a balloon in everyone’s house. TikTok’s listening in to everything that’s being said in your house, it’s scooping up your data, it’s scooping up your passwords.
“We’ve got Chinese Confucius Institutes at universities all over the country and those universities still get federal funding. And the Chinese are spying though the Confucius Institutes.
“We’ve got the Chinese buying up (American) farmland. Put aside the balloon that could be shot down and was transitory — we’ve got the Chinese buying thousands of acres of farm land next to our key military bases like Lackland Air Force Base in Texas or Grand Forks, North Dakota.
“Can you imagine the Chinese letting us fly a balloon over their country, letting us put Twitter in their country, letting us buy farmland around their key air force bases?
“I mean, this is happening across the board. It’s absurd. I hope the balloon — I mean, the silver lining to a bad situation may be that the American people woke up, and we get some action immediately from our friends in Congress…that we get TikTok banned and take a strong stand against the Chinese now before it’s too late.
But on Monday, President Joe Biden said he doesn’t know if the United States should ban TikTok, as a growing number of lawmakers are urging.
“Do you think the United States should ban TikTok?” a reporter asked Biden.
“I’m sorry?” Biden said, so the reporter repeated the question: “Do you think the United States should ban TikTok?”
“Should ban TikTok?” Biden repeated.
“TikTok, yeah,” the reporter said.
“Well, that — the answer, I’m not sure. I know I don’t have it on my phone,” Biden said.
“If you can’t trust China on the balloon, can we trust it on other things, such as its official COVID count in China? Can you trust it on other things now?” a reporter asked.
“The question of the balloon and attempting to spy on the United States is something that’s anticipated from China,” Biden said.
“The question is whether or not — when we asked China what they’re doing, they didn’t deny they had the balloon over — they just denied what it was. And it’s not a question of trusting China, it’s a question of deciding where we should work together and where we have opposition.”
‘We were never made aware of this’
O’Brien on Monday joined the list of former Trump officials who are questioning Biden administration’s claim that China sent spy balloons over U.S. territory while Trump was in charge.
“We were never made aware of this, and the idea this could have happened without us knowing is not very plausible,” O’Brien said on Monday night. We’ll have to see what comes out but certainly it’s an odd claim.
O’Brien said he was never made aware of a Chinese balloon drifting over Hawaii and Florida: “We should have heard about that if it occurred,” he said.
The Washington Post reported that “the top U.S. general responsible for protecting North American skies said Monday that past incursions by Chinese balloons went undetected by the Pentagon.”
Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, who oversees the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters during a news briefing. “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out.”
He said the U.S. intelligence community “made us aware” of the previous balloon incursions after they happened.
From CNSNews - READ ORIGINAL
Some media, including videos, may only be available to view at the original.