From the Office of Ambassador John Bolton

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February 15, 2023
CONTACT: Sarah Tinsley
[email protected]

From Ambassador John Bolton:

I met with intelligence-community (“IC”) officials at DNI headquarters at Liberty Crossing this afternoon for approximately an hour.  They provided a briefing relating to the four recent balloon/”object” incidents in a cooperative and professional manner. 

In light of today’s meeting, I remain profoundly troubled about the Biden Administration’s handling of these potential national-security threats over the last several weeks.  For example, the Administration’s serious mishandling of the first balloon, and its continually changing story line, have only been heightened by press reports on Monday and Tuesday that the United States had been tracking the initial balloon form the time it left China’s Hainan Island, not that it was sighted for the first time north of the Aleutian Islands, the Administration’s initial tale.

Since I was meeting with IC representatives and given the long-standing and entirely appropriate wall of separation between intelligence and policy-making, it was no fault of these representatives that they could not (and should not) be engaged in policy discussions.  At this point, responsibility for the failures, excuses, and idle speculation about the four recent incidents, lies with the Biden Administration’s political leadership.