OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has made a massive accusation against President Joe Biden and it is one that could be a building block of an impeachment if the Republicans decide to pursue that.
He appeared on the CNN show “State of The Union” on Sunday and spoke to Jake Tapper as he accused the president of “dereliction of duty” involving his response to China’s spy balloon.
“Your colleague and friend Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina accused President Biden of — quote – ‘dereliction of duty’ by allowing the Chinese spy balloon to fly across the U.S. That’s a pretty strong accusation. Do you agree with it?” the host said.
“Well, I think the dereliction of duty begins with this,” the senator said. “Why not, on Tuesday or Wednesday — you know people are going to see this. At some point, you’re going to have to disclose it. And they probably didn’t want to, because they didn’t want to have their hand forced on canceling this Blinken visit. And so they didn’t — so they didn’t want to have to talk about it.
“But why didn’t the president go on television? He has the ability to convene the country in cameras, and basically explain what we’re dealing with here and why he’s made the decisions he’s making and what they intend to do. I don’t understand, once they went public with it, knowing the amount of interest this was going to generate, presidents have the ability to go before camera, go before the nation and basically explain these things early on,” Sen. Rubio said.
“And his failure to do so is — I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t do that. And that is the beginning of dereliction of duty. And the second is, we have to act swiftly on these things. I think that’s part of the — one of the things the Chinese are trying to message,” he said.
“And that is, the U.S. had to see this coming and decided they couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it early on, and now had to wait until this thing went across the middle of the country. And what are we going to do the next time this happens? Are we going to allow it to fly through here again, and shoot it down once it gets to the East Coast?
“I mean, these are questions the White House needs to answer. And I don’t think these are partisan claims I’m making. I think there would be a broad agreement that we need to know moving forward what our policy is going to be with regards to this,” he said.
The accusation by Sen. Rubio comes as United States officials believe they have spotted a third Chinese spy balloon but they did not say where it is located, The Washington Post reported.
“The discovery of this military spy balloon and others — the presence of a second craft loitering over Latin America was disclosed on Friday, and officials say there is likely a third operating elsewhere — is highly embarrassing to the Chinese,” the report said.
“They’re in a very tough place,” a Pentagon official, who said China was humiliated by the spy balloon incident, said to The Post. “And they have very few cards to play right now.”
China is furious with President Joe Biden and the United States after it shot down its spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean, after it had traversed the entire United States.
The communist nation continued to insist that its balloon was “civilian” and not the spy balloon the United States said it is, and said it could “respond further,” The New York Post reported.
“In these circumstances, for the United States to insist on using armed force is clearly an excessive reaction that seriously violates international convention,” China said to The Post. “China will resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of the enterprise involved, and retains the right to respond further.”
The Department of Defense reported on its takedown of the balloon on its website.
“President Joe Biden ordered the action on Wednesday, but it was delayed until the balloon was over water off the coast of South Carolina to ensure no Americans on the ground were harmed,” it said.
“The balloon, which was being used by the PRC in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States, was brought down above U.S. territorial waters,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said.