The order to shoot it down was given on Wednesday, but military personnel didn’t carry it out until Saturday, according to President Joe Biden, who spoke just after the American military shot down a Chinese spy balloon.
On Saturday, Biden told reporters, “I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down as soon as possible on Wednesday.” “They thought that the optimum time to do that was when it got over the water outside within a 12-mile boundary,” says the source, “without inflicting any harm to anyone on the ground.”
We’ll have more to report on soon. “They successfully took it down, and I want to commend our aviators who accomplished it.”
Added Biden “On Wednesday, I instructed them to shoot it down. They advised me to wait till the activity could be carried out safely.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also stated that the military received the order on Wednesday and chose to wait.
According to Lloyd, “President Biden gave his approval on Wednesday to detach the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be completed without putting American lives at jeopardy under the balloon’s path.
“U.S. military leaders had assessed that due to the balloon’s size, altitude, and surveillance payload, downing the balloon while above land constituted an unreasonable risk to people across a vast area.”
Republicans, notably former President Donald Trump, have heavily criticized Biden for delaying days before shooting down the balloon as it flew over vital military installations across the country.
After the FAA ordered a ground stop for flights at three airports in North and South Carolina, Fox News Digital confirmed on Saturday afternoon that the Chinese balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
A comment from the White House was requested by Fox News Digital, but there was no immediate response.
Source: Fox News