BY Joe Saunders, The Western JournalFebruary 6, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 6, 2023
1 year ago

Official Backtracks on Spy Balloons Under Trump Narrative, And It Makes It So Much Worse for Biden

The Biden administration had barely tossed its bomb before the backtracking began.

In the immediate aftermath of the "Top Gun"-style destruction of a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, a "senior defense official" dropped word during a news briefing that such incursions were known to have taken place at least "three times" during former President Donald Trump's administration.

When Trump exploded in furious denial and key members of his White House backed him up -- even outspoken opponents like former National Security Advisor John Bolton -- it wasn't long at all before Biden administration "sources" were feeding a slightly different tale to their media lapdogs -- but it only made matters much worse.

Among other former Trump administration officials, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell flatly denied it:

"Biden’s DoD is shamelessly using an anonymous source to say that Chinese balloons flew over the US under Trump -- and the Trump team allowed it," he wrote. "It is a lie. We never heard this -- ever."

When Bloomberg News senior White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs published a Twitter post about Team Biden being willing to brief Trump officials on what they now "know," Grenell was equally adamant.

"It’s a hard no from me," he wrote.

"The entire Biden team has been lying and are now scrambling to get help in the coverup. You shouldn’t have believed their anonymous source tale in the first place."

But many in the establishment media did. As a means of causing confusion to deflect blame, the attempt to smear Trump might have had some short-term utility. Americans who had seen Trump swaggering on the world stage for four years were suddenly confronted with the claim that he had meekly allowed the country's most dangerous global rival to violate American sovereignty.

But the claim was literally incredible -- literally unbelievable -- and even the Biden crowd had to know it couldn't last and the new spin started: That the Chinese balloon incursions had taken place during the Trump years, but weren't detected until Biden's presidency.

And where did it turn to get out a story that was even less likely than Trump letting China walk all over him? To CNN, among other places, where it just happened to be written up by the same reporter who, while she was with Politico, brought Americans the notorious story of the 51 former intelligence officials who claimed that the Hunter Biden laptop story "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation" in the days before the 2020 election.

Now at CNN, Natasha Bertrand is out with the story that "Chinese spy balloons under Trump not discovered until after Biden took office."

To be fair, it could just be that it was just the luck of the draw that had Bertrand on the balloon story for CNN. After all, Biden's people peddled the same line to Fox News Digital.

But whether it was written at CNN, Fox, or on the back of a Bazooka Joe comic, the story didn't carry the message Biden's administration wanted.

A more naive country might wonder why, if the clarification about the balloons not being reported to the White House during the Trump years is true, it was not presented as part of the "news briefing" on Saturday.

But Americans who pay attention to the news of the Biden administration cannot be naive after the past two years. They know that in the White House, they have a man so incapable of telling the truth on matters great and small -- a "devout Catholic" who worships on the altar of abortion, a barefaced liar who makes up stories of doting Amtrak engineers even his audiences knows are not true.

Which is why the "Trump let China do it, too" narrative is so ineffective that it amounts to little more than Biden's crew digging the hole deeper.

The Biden administration's blatantly self-serving story at first asked Americans to believe that the previous president who ignited a trade war with China would somehow turn a blind eye to Beijing actually broaching American airspace -- an absurdity on its face.


Its second version implies either that the national security regime under Trump was so lax that the country's borders could be violated by air even more easily than they are being violated on the ground in the Biden years or that he wasn't being told the truth by those below him.

For liberals and the media, the problem with the latter is that it only proves what Trump and conservatives have been saying for decades, that the "swamp" of Washington is governing the country, not the men and women who are elected by the American people. And hiding an act of aggression by a global rival from both the president and the American people is arguably treasonous.

For liberals and the media, the problem with the former is that literally every piece of publicly available evidence points in exactly the opposite direction.

Critics' claims of "isolationism" to the country, the United States under Trump was a global leader -- just not in the leftist direction that's cheered by the establishment media of the international globalists.

On Trump's watch, peace in the Middle East grew palpably closer, with Israel signing agreements with longstanding enemies that bore at least the possibility they might grow into even wider acceptance of the Jewish state.

Under Trump, the murderous mullahs of Tehran were curbed in their terrorist ambitions (and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani found himself permanently curbed).

With Trump in the Oval Office, notably, Russia never invaded Ukraine (as it had under both President Barack Obama in 2014 and under Biden in 2022).

And most relevantly, it was under Trump that the U.S. adopted an aggressive stance against China to force reforms in trading relationships between the two countries.

Biden has no record that comes even close to that level of accomplishment -- being as he and his handlers apparently consider it a better use of his time to weaponize the federal government against American citizens.

Biden is expected to speak to the country on Tuesday in the State of the Union address.

He's going to have to address the balloon affair -- the whole country saw it happen.

Whether he continues with the Trump balloon blame game or abandons it in favor of a spin that's easier to swallow, the damage has been done.

The balloon incident made Biden look weak -- dangerously weak -- to the country and the world. The Trump narrative made it worse. Biden looks not only weak but petulant, deceptive and once again utterly unworthy to be in the office he now holds.

It was a bomb that's already gone up in his face.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Joe Saunders, The Western Journal



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