Top Democrat lawmakers mocked people who were concerned about the Chinese spy balloon that was attempting to surveil the U.S. this week by downplaying the seriousness of the threat.
An F-22 Raptor took out the spy balloon with one air-to-air A9X sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet. The decision to shoot down the spy balloon came after President Joe Biden allowed the balloon to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. during the last several days.
Democrat lawmakers wasted no time mocking and attacking those who were concerned about Communist China surveilling the U.S.
“I hope everyone understands the performative unseriousness of Shoot the Balloon Down twitter,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted. “It’s not real. It’s all theater.”
A few hours later, after the balloon was shot down, Murphy added: “See. All better, bed wetters.”
Rep. Don Byers (D-VA), who had a staffer fired last year after allegedly being caught spying for Communist China, also downplayed the seriousness of China spying on strategic sites in the continental United States.
“Great news for my Republican colleagues, they can stop panicking about a balloon now,” Byer tweeted.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) attacked those who were criticizing Biden for not shooting down the balloon much earlier by claiming that they were effectively helping China.
“No foreign power can violate our sovereignty,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “I applaud @POTUS for his order to shoot down China’s spy balloon in a smart and safe way. Fine to ask tough questions, but those already playing politics with this only serve the interests of our adversaries.”
Biden tried to take a victory lap over the weekend after the spy balloon was shot down, claiming that he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but that the decision was made to not shoot it down over land because debris could cause damage when falling to the ground.
U.S. officials were reportedly “well aware” that the balloon had crossed into American airspace on January 28 and that it was over Idaho on Tuesday, but decided not to inform the public to not upend Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China.