Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Chinese officials as “liars” after they had claimed the surveillance balloon that recently flew across the U.S. was only a weather balloon blown off course.
“They are liars. They are lying about this,” he said. “This was certainly an effort to collect against important information that America doesn’t want in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
His comment came during a broader interview with CBN News, when Pompeo was asked to comment on the Chinese spy balloon that had been shot down off the coast of South Carolina two days earlier.
Pompeo replied by saying it was correct to refer to the balloon as a “spy balloon” and called Chinese officials “liars” for claiming otherwise, adding, “You shouldn’t forget they told us that the Wuhan virus wasn’t going to spread, it wasn’t contagious. They hid everything there, too.”
The Pentagon asserted with high confidence that the balloon was Chinese and conducting surveillance over strategic sites in the U.S. China confirmed it was the source of the balloon but claimed it was a weather research balloon.
The first photos showing the effort to recover the spy balloon from the ocean were published Tuesday by U.S. Fleet Forces.
Pompeo also addressed claims from defense officials in President Joe Biden’s administration that other Chinese balloons flew undetected over the U.S. during the presidency of Donald Trump. He said he “never knew about it.”
“I hope it’s not the case that the military knew and didn’t tell its political leadership, but I can certainly say that I know of no one in the administration at the political senior level that was aware of such an action taking place on our watch,” he said.