Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley demand Biden ‘shoot down’ Chinese spy balloon

Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley demand Biden 'shoot down' Chinese spy balloon

A trio of would-be 2024 Republican presidential candidates insisted Friday that the Biden administration should bring down a Chinese spy balloon as it traveled over the central US.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused President Biden of appearing weak in the face of the incursion by Beijing.

“Shoot down the Chinese spy balloon,” Pence tweeted. “Go ahead and send the Secretary of State to China next week.

“Have @SecBlinken Look them in the eye and tell em- it better never happen again,” the former VP added. “That’s Peace Through Strength.”

“When we realized the [Chinese Communist Party] was spying on Americans from their Consulate in Houston, we shut it down,” Pompeo, also a former CIA director under former President Donald Trump, tweeted Friday morning.

spy balloon
The Chinese spy balloon was moving east across the central US Friday.
CHASE DOAK/AFP via Getty Images

“The Biden Administration’s weakness is provocative. Xi Jinping and the CCP are growing bolder because of it. Shoot down the CCP’s balloon safely, and demand answers from Xi.”

Haley, expected to formally launch her presidential bid Feb. 15, echoed those demands  — blasting the leader of the free world for letting China “walk all over” the US.

“Shoot down the balloon. Cancel Blinken’s trip. Hold China accountable. Biden is letting China walk all over us. It’s time to make America strong again,” she tweeted.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden declined to comment on the demands.

The State Department announced that Blinken’s planned Sunday and Monday meetings with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, would be postponed indefinitely, with one official telling reporters “it would not be conducive or constructive to travel to Beijing right now.”

The balloon was spotted late Thursday over Montana, which is home to one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. As of early Friday afternoon, various sightings put it over northeastern Kansas or northwestern Missouri.

Chinese officials have claimed the balloon was  a civilian “airship,” used for meteorological research, which had blown off course. However, the US has called the balloon a “surveillance asset” that can be controlled.

Biden has not made any public comment on the device since he was briefed on it earlier this week.

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