Biden Shuts Down Questions on Spy Balloon, Scolds Journalists to Be More 'Polite'

The Chinese spy balloon shot down on Feb. 4, 2023 / Reuters
February 16, 2023

After delivering his first public remarks on the flying objects shot down by the U.S. military in recent weeks, President Joe Biden refused to answer any questions, saying reporters "can come to my office and ask that question when we have more polite people."

"Give me a break man," Biden on Thursday told reporters who were yelling questions after the president concluded his comments.

Reporters have had sparse opportunities to ask Biden questions in the nearly three weeks since a Chinese spy balloon first entered U.S. airspace. Since then, Biden has remained relatively silent about U.S. forces shooting down unidentified objects last weekend over Alaska, Canada, and Lake Huron, drawing criticism from both sides of the aisle.

Biden said in the brief remarks that there is no evidence the three objects are related to the Chinese spy balloon shot over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4, saying they were likely private balloons used for research.

The president also called for a better inventory of what objects are in U.S. airspace. He claimed there has been no increase in devices detected floating above the United States.

Biden added that he expects to talk with Chinese president Xi Jinping on the topic.

Biden allowed China's spy balloon, which was spotted near nuclear sites in Montana, to float across the entire United States before downing the airship off the coast of South Carolina. Last weekend, three more unidentified objects were detected and shot down by the U.S. military: one over Alaska on Feb. 10, another over northern Canada on Feb. 11, and another over Lake Huron on Feb. 12.

None of the latest objects have been recovered, but the Pentagon described the device shot down over Canada as a "small, metallic balloon."

Published under: China , Joe Biden , Media