Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson said he has had “zero communication” from the Biden administration about a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was reportedly spotted hovering above the Show-Me State on Friday.
“We have received zero communication from the Biden Administration regarding reports of the suspected Chinese spy balloon now flying over Missouri,” Parson wrote in a tweet. “We have heard no explanation or plan to remove it. Why has this been allowed to reach our heartland? Why has it not been eliminated?”
Parson, who has served as governor of the state since 2018, said his office “will remain in contact with our Missouri National Guard, law enforcement, and security partners to monitor the safety of Missourians.”
US HAS ‘ABSOLUTE LEGAL RIGHT’ TO SHOOT DOWN CHINESE SPY BALLOON, SAY NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House about Parson’s remarks, but did not receive an immediate response.
Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Friday that the Chinese surveillance balloon, which China claims is a civilian reconnaissance airship that inadvertently drifted off course and was first reported to be hovering over Montana, had “changed its course” and moved to the central part of the country. But he declined to get into specifics about its location.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City, Missouri, posted photos of a large balloon visible from its office in Pleasant Hill that appeared to be headed southeast. “We have confirmed that it is not an NWS weather balloon,” NWS Kansas City said.
‘RISK TO SAFETY’? MONTANA CONGRESSMAN REJECTS PENTAGON’S REASON FOR NOT SHOOTING DOWN CHINESE SPY BALLOON
Hours before Ryder’s remarks, officials said the balloon sat above Billings, Montana, potentially giving the Biden administration ample time to act on the situation before it moved into more populated areas of the country. The Pentagon said that it considered taking down the possible threat from China, but ultimately decided against any action due to “the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field.”
The balloon, which Ryder said will “probably be over the United States for a few days,” is flying about 60,000 feet above sea level, higher than civilian aircraft fly.
Senior State Department officials have called the incident “unacceptable,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping in light of the circumstances.
A senior U.S. Defense official told Fox News the balloon was launched from mainland China. The Pentagon does not believe that this was a weather balloon that flew off course. There was no “force majeure” that caused the Chinese surveillance balloon to enter U.S. airspace, as China’s foreign ministry spokesperson had claimed.
“This was intentional,” the senior U.S. official said.
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo contributed to this article.