House Intelligence chair: Biden administration needs to ‘stop briefing Congress through our television sets’
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) on Sunday called on the Biden administration to brief Congress about the Chinese surveillance balloon shot down over U.S. airspace earlier this month and additional unidentified objects downed in North America.
“This is particularly annoying about this administration. The Biden administration needs to stop briefing Congress through our television sets and actually come and sit down and brief us,” Turner told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“What we’re seeing here is a number of announcements by the administration, without any real information being given to Congress. This could be because they don’t have any information — from the press conference we saw, it does seem like they took this action without a real understanding for what they were going after,” Turner added.
“But I do think that there needs to be more engagement between the administration and Congress, probably they’re a little hesitant after the Chinese balloon fiasco, where they let it go across the country to great criticism, bipartisan and bicameral criticism from Congress,” Turner said.
President Biden earlier this month ordered the U.S. military to shoot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that had spent days floating over the country in what defense officials later said was a clear effort to surveil sensitive sites.
A Pentagon official then revealed that similar aircraft had been spotted at least three additional times under former President Trump — and in the days after the Chinese balloon came into the spotlight, two unidentified objects were shot down over Alaska and Canada.
Officials say they’ve already been able to learn about Chinese surveillance from the balloon shot down earlier this month, and authorities are now working to recover the wreckage of the other two objects, with hopes to learn more information about their origins and purposes.
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