Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida pressed President Biden on Sunday to publicly address the American people on the Chinese surveillance balloon that the military shot down in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend after it crossed the U.S.
Mr. Rubio, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the White House’s playbook of silence was unacceptable when it comes to a foreign adversary deploying spyware in U.S. airspace, which traversed over several sensitive military sites as it crossed the country from east to west.
“What are we going to do the next time this happens? Are we going to allow it to fly through here again, and shoot it down once it gets to the East Coast?” Mr. Rubio said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “These are questions the White House needs to answer. And I don’t think these are partisan claims. I think there is a broad agreement that we need to know moving forward what our policy is going to be with regards to this.”
The Pentagon said it chose to shoot down the surveillance device over open waters for fear of causing property damage or harm to people on the ground. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on the same Sunday show that the debris field was seven miles long.
Still, Mr. Rubio said it’s only a matter of time until China does it again.
“China has been — for some time, and will be — the primary strategic adversary of the United States, and we should be focused on it because what they’re trying to do is create a world in which they are the most powerful nation and the United States is a great power in decline,” he said.
SEE ALSO: House intel chair: Downing balloon over ocean is ‘tackling the quarterback after the game is over’
• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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