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Why did Trump conceal from the public the three Chinese spy balloons that invaded American airspace when he was President?!
Was Trump silent to help his trade talks or Ivanka's trademarks?
Past generations had the “13 days of October” when in 1962 the United States and the USSR arguably came the closest these two superpowers ever did to an actual nuclear war. That crisis was triggered when President John F. Kennedy demanded that the Soviets halt construction of newly-discovered missile bases in Cuba. That stand off built to a crescendo when US naval ships imposed a blockade of Cuba--called by Kennedy a “quarantine zone” because under international law a blockade is an act of war. But Kennedy stood his ground. Finally, after causing millions sleepless nights for fear of nuclear annihilation, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev backed down and promised to remove the missiles--clearly underestimating the will of the young American President.
Well we all just lived through our own “horror” with the Chinese spy balloon which we should call the “7 days of the end of late January into early February.” Sure, that doesn’t roll off your tongue like the “13 days of October” but if you look at the reaction of the GOP to the Chinese spy balloon it was like we were facing annihilation from this balloon floating 60,000 feet above the earth.
There was Trump on Friday posting on his platform Truth Social in all caps: “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!" Two Former Trump officials--who are likely running against Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination--Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo also joined in the outrage games. Haley tweeted that Biden was “letting China walk all over us,” while Pompeo, the former CIA Director and Secretary of State for Trump, went as far as to declare on Fox News Friday, “I can nearly guarantee you that that balloon would not still be flying if we were still there.” And of course Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that Trump would have shot down such a balloon “before it entered the US.” (President Biden had wanted the balloon to be shot down Wednesday but his military leaders recommended waiting until the large device was over the ocean to avoid falling debris injuring people and property.)
But now come the facts that pose an inconvenient truth for Trump and his allies: As the Department of Defense has confirmed, Chinese surveillance balloons entered American airspace during Trump’s presidency at least three times. Bloomberg News and the Associated Press also reported the same, although noting that the length of time the spy balloons remained over U.S. airspace was not as long as this incident.
Yep, at least three times the same thing we just lived through occurred. Even GOP Senator Marco Rubio confirmed these facts while on CNN Sunday morning—although trying to argue that what happened under Trump was different than the recent incident.
There’s no disputing Chinese spy balloons violated US airspace three times under Trump yet that information was intentionally concealed from the public.
These new revelations prompt a few questions that must be asked—preferably by Congress with people under oath. First and foremost: Who and Why? As in, WHO made the decision to conceal the information about the three Chinese spy balloons from the public and WHY?! We deserve to know when other nations are spying on us—especially when doing so by violating our airspace. Did Trump order it be kept from the public to save face and avoid the type of attacks Republicans are making against Biden of being “weak” or China “walking all over” him?! That seems like an obvious reason knowing Trump.
Second, what were the dates the Chinese spy balloons crossed into our country? This may actually help answer why this information was not disclosed before. For example, Trump had been negotiating a trade deal with the Chinese government which he unveiled with great fanfare in January 2020—the year he was up for re-election. The trade pact purportedly would open up Chinese markets to American companies and increase U.S. energy and farm exports to China. Trump patted himself on the back for reaching this deal stating, “Today we take a momentous step, one that has never been taken before with China toward a future of fair and reciprocal trade with China.”
If a Chinese spy balloon violated US airspace during these trade talks perhaps Trump kept the info from the public to prevent interfering in a deal that he thought would help him win re-election. If such info went public there’s no doubt that some members of Congress-both Democrats and Republicans-would’ve demanded an end to talks as a way of protesting the violation of our sovereignty.
Keep in mind that just happened. When the Chinese spy balloon was revealed earlier this week, there was pressure by people like former Trump official Haley on Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel his upcoming trip to meet his Chinese counterpart. And in fact, Blinken did cancel the meeting, slamming the “surveillance balloon in US airspace” which he noted was “detrimental to the substantive discussions that we were prepared to have.”
We also need to know the timing of the Chinese spy balloon crossings to see if it happened shortly before or after the Chinese government granted Trump’s daughter, Ivanka-- who was serving in the administration as an advisor—numerous trademarks. For example, in May 2018, the Chinese government granted Ivanka trademarks that spanned a wide collection of businesses, including books and housewares and cushions. And then in November 2018, the Chinese government announced approval for 16 new trademarks applied for by Ivanka’s company ranging from jewelry to voting machines.
Ethics watchdogs in the past had raised alarm bells over some of these trademarks being granted to Ivanka at about the same time her father lifted sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company. Forget Hunter Biden’s laptop, was Trump silent about the Chinese spy planes because it helped his daughter to make more money?!
This goes beyond the typical “whataboutisms” we often see in politics. We need to why the Trump administration didn’t reveal the at least three times Chinese spy balloons invaded our airspace under Trump’s watch, who made that decision to conceal it and the timing of the spy balloons. This is no longer a story about a spy balloon over U.S. soil for seven days, it’s now a story about a possible cover up by Trump to benefit himself or his daughter. We need answers.
Thanks to all who joined the first monthly online chat this past Saturday. Here’s a clip from that interview of our special guest, MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner:
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