‘They Were Caught Lying’: Former Trump Admin Officials React To Kirby’s Chinese Balloon Pronouncement

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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The Biden administration is offering to brief former Trump officials on Chinese balloons because Biden officials were “caught lying” and are “scrambling” about their own Chinese spy balloon incident, former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell told the Daily Caller.

“Every Trump national security official on the record over the last several days saying this isn’t true,” Grenell added, referring to the Biden administration’s claim that three Chinese balloons had crossed into U.S. airspace during the Trump era.

Former President Donald Trump, as well as a number of former national security officials including John Bolton, Robert O’Brien and John Ratcliffe, refuted the Biden administration’s claim about the balloons during Trump’s tenure.

“It never happened with us under the Trump administration, and if it did, we would have shot it down immediately,” Trump told Fox News.

“It’s disinformation,” and the claims about the Trump era are being made by the Biden administration because “they look so bad, as usual,” Trump added.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who served as acting national security adviser for Trump, said Friday on The Vince Coglianese Show that balloons did cross into U.S. airspace, but did not appear to pose a danger.

US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters after arriving at Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, Maryland, on February 4, 2023. – Biden on Saturday congratulated fighter pilots for taking down a Chinese balloon off the east coast after it spent several days flying over the US. “They successfully took it down. And I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” Biden told reporters in Maryland. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration “discovered” previous instances of Chinese balloons going into U.S. airspace during the Trump administration “after [they] came into office,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

“We have reached out to key officials from the previous administration and have offered them briefings on the forensics that we did and expressed our willingness to walk them through what we learned,” Kirby added, painting that the Chinese balloons were in U.S. airspace during the Trump era for less of a duration than the balloon that was shot down on Saturday.

Grenell is refusing to attend the briefing, he told Newsmax.

Kash Patel, former chief of staff to the acting Secretary of Defense, told the Caller that he hasn’t received an invitation to the briefing “as of yet, but would welcome it and work with the admin to get it.”

Trump and Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not respond to an inquiry from the Daily Caller asking if they will be attending the briefings. (RELATED: Pentagon Reveals Why It Waited Days To Shoot Down Chinese Surveillance Balloon)

The Chinese spy balloon was shot down by the U.S. military on Saturday over the Atlantic Ocean after it had been flying in U.S. airspace for seven days. Republicans, including Trump, called on President Joe Biden to shoot down the balloon earlier, but defense officials advised the president to wait due to potential dangers to those on the ground.