Maine’s senators’ thoughts on China spy balloon takedown

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Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 9:38 PM EST
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Maine (WMTW) - The U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast over the weekend.

Senator Angus King says President Biden’s waiting until the balloon was over the water to order the military to shoot it down was a “prudent” decision.

King says he wants to find out exactly what the U.S. believes the balloon’s mission was.

He also responded to criticism of the president for not taking the balloon down before it reached the East Coast.

”There was a payload, apparently, on that balloon that was as big as two buses, and I think if the President had said, ‘Shoot it down,’ and that payload had dropped into a mall, you know, in Illinois, the President would have been criticized for acting impulsively and endangering American lives. It was no win situation.”

King, who serves on the Senate’s Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, says he’ll receive a briefing on the operation Tuesday in Washington.

Senator Collins said Saturday that a forceful response was required and applauded the military, but said it should have been shot down sooner in what she called remote areas over Alaska or Montana.