- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 5, 2023

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner blasted the Biden administration Sunday for shooting down a Chinese spy balloon only after it had cleared land and was over the Atlantic Ocean, allowing it to traverse the continental U.S. over several sensitive military sites.

The Ohio Republican used a sports analogy in his critique of President Biden, arguing that he “lacks urgency” on national security issues.

“The president taking it down over the Atlantic is sort of like tackling the quarterback after the game is over,” Mr. Turner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The satellite had completed its mission. It should never have been allowed to enter the United States, and it never should have been allowed to complete its mission.”

Republicans have charged Mr. Biden with failing to act quickly enough, while the Pentagon expressed concern about potential harm to Americans and property if it downed the large surveillance device over land.

But that rationale is not sitting well with Republicans.

“If you asked somebody to draw an X at every place where our sensitive missile defense sites, our nuclear weapons infrastructure, our nuclear weapons sites are, you would put them all along this path,” Mr. Turner said. “Clearly, this was an attempt by China to gather information to defeat our command and control of our sensitive missile offensive nuclear weapons sites. And that certainly is an urgency that this administration does not recognize.”

SEE ALSO: China claims U.S. ‘overreacted’ in shooting down spy balloon

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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