OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.

Republicans argue President Joe Biden purposefully mislead Americans and Congress about the Chinese spy balloons.

Biden assured that sensitive U.S. military sites were protected from China’s spy balloon. This was false.

Senator Ted Cruz said, “This is what happens when you have an administration that treats national security crises as PR challenges.”

“Apparently, the White House has NO PROBLEM with China spying on US military sites…,” wrote Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

A new report confirms that the Chinese balloons were able to fly across the U.S. multiple times and successfully gather intelligence from several sensitive American military sites.

The balloons primarily gathered electronic signals about our weapons systems as well as communications between personnel on the base. The balloons were not looking to gather images, which satellites can already capture.

The spy balloons sometimes flew using “figure eight formations” and actively transmitted the information it collected back to Beijing in real-time.

China even placed “self-destruct mechanisms” on the balloons so they could destroy them remotely from China.

“That’s not what the Biden Admin told Congress,” wrote Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). “They told Congress weeks ago they were confident no valuable intel had been collected.”

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“Utter incompetence,” he added.

“Joe Biden allowed the CCP spy balloon to travel across the country before shooting it down. Despite the President claiming this was ‘not a major breach,’ China was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive U.S. military sites,” wrote Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA). “Yet another Biden Administration failure,” he said.

“Now it can be told: the Chinese spy balloon got intel from U.S. military sites while Biden and the White House let it span the homeland and mislead the country,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

“The Biden admin wasted critical days until they decided to shoot the Chinese Spy Balloon down,” wrote Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA). “Now we find out they were UNABLE to stop China from collecting intel and transmitting it to Beijing. Biden continues to put our national security at risk,” he said.

“Reports now indicate that the Chinese spy balloon gathered intelligence from several sensitive military sites during its journey across the United States,” wrote House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). “But Joe Biden waited until it flew across the ENTIRE COUNTRY before doing anything,” he said.

“Communist China must be held accountable for openly spying on the United States,” wrote Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “When will @JoeBiden stop the appeasement and start protecting Americans’ best interests?”

“The Chinese Spy Balloon was not blocked from gathering intelligence and successfully surveilled critical military sites,” wrote Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA).

“@POTUS lied to the American people and endangered our national security by allowing this thing to traverse the country uninterrupted,” he added.

“Of course the spy balloon was gathering sensitive intelligence as Joe Biden allowed it to traverse the entire continental US,” wrote Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL).

“Did anyone (besides Joe Biden) actually believe China’s story of an innocent, runaway weather balloon?” he asked.

“Next time a Chinese spy balloon enters U.S. airspace – shoot it down,” wrote Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL). “The balloon ‘was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive American military sites, despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it from doing so.’”

Inexcusable,” wrote Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). “Confirming what we already knew, the Chinese Communist Party gathered intelligence for 8 DAYS before Biden took action.”

“Why hasn’t @POTUS sanctioned PRC actors responsible for violating US sovereignty & flying a spy balloon over TN & other states w military & nuclear sites?” asked Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN). “Some in Biden Admin desperately want this story to go away so they can ‘reset’ relations w CCP.”

“@POTUS has focused more on pronouns rather than protecting the American people,” wrote Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC). “If we want to stand up to China, we need stronger leadership.”