Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Friday that it's not only important to shoot down the high-altitude Chinese balloon above Montana to protect U.S. national security - it's also vital that the U.S. gets possession of it to see what might be inside.
"We can bring that balloon down," Holt told "American Agenda." "We have that ability, and we need to examine what it is and what's inside it. It's a foregone conclusion that it's a surveillance balloon. I will take that at face value. But nobody really, truly knows what's on board that thing."
Newsmax meteorologist Mike Masco said the balloon's flight pattern could take it over the nation's capital, and that troubles Holt.
"I can think of a myriad of things on board that thing that I would not want if it was going to fly over Washington, D.C.," Holt said. "This is a very, very dangerous situation and honestly, at the strategic levels, we have put ourselves in a very bad position."
Fred Fleitz, former National Security Council chief of staff who appeared with Holt on "American Agenda," said the Biden administration's excuses for not shooting the balloon down do not make sense.
"I'm not sure they know how to react to this," said Fleitz, vice chairman of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. "One expert told me that it may be so high, it would be difficult to shoot down except with a very expensive missile.
"The fact that [Secretary of State] Antony Blinken has canceled his trip to China over this indicates that the Chinese have lied to the administration. This is not a civilian device. This is not a civilian airship. We know from the Pentagon today. This is a maneuverable spy balloon, and I think it's an enormously serious provocation, and it seems to me that the Biden administration is struggling on how to respond."
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