Former President Donald Trump and his allied Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for not shooting down a Chinese spy balloon as it made its way across the United States. The Pentagon reported that the balloon first came into the U.S. space in Alaska at the end of January, but Biden wasn’t told about it until several days later. At that point, it was nearing Montana when Biden told the military to shoot it down when safe to do so. They complied with his order when the balloon floated over the Atlantic Ocean but was still in US air space.
Trump said: “The Chinese would never have floated the Blimp (‘Balloon’) over the United States if I were President!!!” The Pentagon then announced that there were at least three incidents of spy balloons flying over the United States under Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump then backtracked on his idea that he would have shot the balloon down immediately. “Who sends a Billion Dollar blimp, with the most sophisticated equipment in the World, and large enough to hold ten cars or 3 large buses, into a complex pattern over the United States, without it quite possibly being manned, such as the ‘manned spacecraft?'” he asked.
So, he went from shooting it down to a bizarre conspiracy theory that the balloon was manned — it wasn’t.
Furthermore, The Pentagon announced last week that the balloon “has the ability to maneuver” and that it likely wasn’t as sophisticated as something like a satellite would be.
Finally, Trump suggested negotiations with China: “China should have been called to ask. If ‘no,’ shoot it down, if ‘yes,’ negotiate the greatest deal EVER!” He didn’t elaborate on what that “deal” would be. Perhaps he could have turned it into a floating billboard to fly over sporting events?
It is doubtful, however, that he would have negotiated a better deal than his nephew, Jared Kushner did with the Saudis when he received 2 billion dollars at the end of the Trump presidency. No one knows any legitimate reason that Kushner got the money, but anyone would concede that it may have been the best deal ever — for himself. There has never been any indication that the deal, or any other deal made during the Trump presidency, was good for the American people or anyone but members of the Trump family and their political donors.
That includes a deal Trump made with the Saudis and Putin to cut oil production during his tenure. That deal, in part, led to higher gas prices for the American people in 2021 and 2022. It also garnered Putin much needed cash to build his “war chest” and enabled him to invade Ukraine. As a kicker, in that deal, Trump agreed to pay Mexico to go along with the scheme. Quite the opposite of Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for his wall. Instead, Mexico got paid to cut oil production to keep the price up like they were a farmer getting a corn subsidy.
At the time, Fox News called the deal “historic.” They also bragged that it showed his skill at deal making. They may have been right about that, but not in the way they intended as Americans and other nations have been paying through the nose ever since for gasoline and other goods whether they are petroleum based, or not.
In the long run, after the Fox fanfare, it showed his lack of skill in deal making, at best.