Montana’s Governor Was Not Briefed About Chinese Spy Balloon

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he was not briefed on a Chinese spy balloon until it was “hundreds of miles” into his state.

Carlson began the interview by noting that the Pentagon did not inform Gianforte about the balloon until it was over Montana.

“The Pentagon did not inform the governor of Montana about it until after the balloon was spotted over Montana,” Carlson said.

In response, Gianforte noted that he was briefed on the balloon after it was hundreds of miles into his state.

“Well, when I got briefed this slow-moving balloon was hundreds of miles into Montana, it had already flown near the Air Force base and the ICBM silos,” Gianforte said.

“When I finally got informed, it was over our most populous city, it got spotted by a photographer at the airport,” he added.

“Well, that’s bizarre. That suggests deception.” Carlson said in response.

Additionally, Gianforte told Tucker Carlson that if the decision were up to the citizens of Montana, the balloon would cease to exist.

“If it was up to Montanans, this thing would have been taken out of the sky the moment it entered our sovereign airspace,” he said.

The Montana Gov. noted that when he was briefed, the Department of Defense (DOD) contemplated shooting down the balloon.

“Initially, in the briefing I got, earlier in the week they were contemplating taking it out of the sky. For whatever reason, they didn’t do that,” he said.

Gianforte blasted President Joe Biden’s “inaction” on the issue and said that the result is the endangerment of American citizens.

“Now, clearly this went to the president’s desk. He was given options, for whatever reason, he chose not to act and unfortunately, the result of that is that Americans are endangered and our enemies are emboldened,” he stated.

The DOD announced that it had tracked the balloon as it crossed over Montana. The Pentagon did not shoot down the balloon over safety concerns for the citizens down below.

However, Republicans are not buying the DOD’s excuse for failing to shoot down the spy balloon.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) said that the people of Montana would “enjoy” having it shot down.

“In Montana, Petroleum County, for example… the least populated county in the lower 48, I guarantee you, the fine citizens of Petroleum County would enjoy having it shot down over their county, and probably there would be a line to shoot it down,” he said.

Moreover, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said that Montanans asked his office if they could shoot down the surveillance balloon.

Daines told Fox News host Martha MacCallum how his office found out about the balloon.

“I’ll tell you how we found out about it, we had Montanans calling our office saying they saw a balloon in the sky. In fact, a lot of Montanans said, ‘Is it okay if I take a shot at it?” he said.

Since then, a second Chinese spy balloon has been spotted over Latin America.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder informed the public of the Pentagon’s report. “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America,” Ryder said.

The DOD has rejected China’s claim that the balloon is “not” being used for surveillance purposes.


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