OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
President Joe Biden has a history of getting snippy with reporters and he is keeping his reputation strong.
On Thursday the president held a press conference talking about the unidentified flying objects, presumed to be balloons, that have been shot out of the sky by the United States military. But when the press conference was done reporters shouted questions at him and he appeared to be set to answer some before changing his mind and walking away.
“Are you compromised by your family’s business relations in China?” one reporter said, which provoked a snide remark from the president.
“Give me a break, man,” the president said, though he did not deny the accusation.
The press starts asking Biden questions after his remarks on the spy balloon.
Biden tells the reporters to “give me a break, man” and says “you can come to my office and ask that question when we have more polite people” pic.twitter.com/JbEaY9q4gM
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) February 16, 2023
It came after the president said that the United States still does not know for certain what it shot other than the suspected Chinese spy balloon.
“Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the incursion by China’s high-altitude balloon, our military, through the North American Aerospace Defense Command — so-called NOR- — NORAD — closely scrutinized the — our airspace, including enhancing our radar to pick up more slow-moving objects above our country and around the world,” he said.
“In doing so, they tracked three unidentified objects: one in Alaska, Canada, and over Lake Huron in the Midwest.
“They acted in accordance with established parameters for determining how to deal with unidentified aerial objects in U.S. airspace,” the president said.
“At their recommendation, I gave the order to take down these three objects due to hazards to civilian commercial air traffic and because we could not rule out the surveillance risk of sensitive facilities.
“We acted in consultation with the Canadian government. I spoke personally with Prime Minister Trudeau and Ca- — from Canada on Saturday,” he said.
“And just as critically, we acted out of an abundance of caution and at an opportunity that allowed us to take down these — these objects safely.
“Our military and the Canadian military are seeking to recover the debris so we can learn more about these three objects. Our intelligence community is still assessing all three incidences. They’re reporting to me daily and will continue their urgent efforts to do so, and I will communicate that to the Congress,” the president said.
“We don’t yet know exactly what these three objects were. But nothing — nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from other — any other country,” he said.
The United States Navy has shared images of the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot from the sky by the military. The photos, shown on Tuesday, show debris from the balloon being brought onto a boat which is then going to be taken to an FBI facility for assessment.
CNN reported: “On Monday, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told reporters that the balloon was roughly 200 feet tall and carried a payload weighing more than a couple of thousand pounds. US officials had been tracking the balloon for several days by the time it appeared in the skies over Montana. President Joe Biden said over the weekend that he’d directed the US military to shoot down the balloon as soon as it was safe to do so, but officials said it posed a risk to civilians and property on the ground.”
“[F]rom a safety standpoint, picture yourself with large debris weighing hundreds if not thousands of pounds falling out of the sky. That’s really what we’re kind of talking about,” the general said. “So glass off of solar panels, potentially hazardous material, such as material that is required for a batteries to operate in such an environment as this and even the potential for explosives to detonate and destroy the balloon that could have been present.”
“[T]his gave us the opportunity to assess what they were actually doing, what kind of capabilities existed on the balloon, what kind of transmission capabilities existed, and I think you’ll see in the future that that time frame was well worth its value to collect over,” he said.
“US officials also determined that the balloon did not pose a significant risk in its ability to gather intelligence,” the report said.
US NAVY RECOVERS CHINESE SPY BALLOON. pic.twitter.com/SnqBzZwsvU
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 8, 2023
The Pentagon released these photos of the Navy retrieving the spy balloon, claiming ‘mission accomplished!”
It’s just the balloon. 😂 Where is the rest of it? pic.twitter.com/Yan5rbPdgV
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) February 7, 2023
“A senior defense official said last week that the balloon had ‘limited additive value’ from an intelligence collection perspective. Nevertheless, VanHerck said Monday that he and the commander of US Strategic Command took “maximum precaution” to prevent China’s ability to collect intelligence,” it said.