NEW YORK, NY—U.S. Senator Steve Daines appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends this morning to discuss President Biden’s mishandling of the Chinese spy balloon and the fentanyl crisis. Daines talked about Larry Mayer, the photographer for the Billings Gazette who took the first photos of the balloon. He also talked about the fentanyl crisis sweeping the country and how it is specifically affecting Montana. He talked about his guest for the State of the Union address this week, Tom Schrapps from Butte, MT, who lost his son to a fentanyl overdose.
Excerpts of his appearance are below as well as the video of the full segment:
Daines on the Biden Administration’s Mishandling of the Chinese Spy Balloon
“I’m a fifth generation Montana and spent a lot of time across the state. There are plenty of places where they could’ve taken that balloon down. The biggest risk would have been hitting a cow, a prairie dog or an antelope.
“This is called Big Sky Country. They had a chance to take the shot. In fact, they needed to take their shot when it first crossed into U.S. airspace there in Montana. Remember, it’s hovering over ICBMs. We’re very proud of that mission in Montana. In fact, one of the slogans up there is ‘scaring the hell out of America’s enemies since 1962.’ The Chinese weren’t afraid. Those ICBMs are weapons of mass destruction. Those are the most powerful weapons known to mankind. We have those in Montana and as Ronald Reagan said that’s about ‘peace through strength.’ The Chinese put that balloon right over the top of them.
“Blinken was planning on going to China. I think the White House wanted to keep this quiet. Had it not been for Larry Mayer who was on the show earlier, I saw the interview. Larry’s from Billings. He’s a photographer. He happened to have a big telephoto lens in his car. I spoke with Larry last night. His buddy saw that white glow in the sky, Larry put his camera on it, got that great shot and got it out.
“The bigger issue here was the response to that balloon. This was really more of a trial balloon by the Chinese. They took a look at how decisive is this President. The President was indecisive. He projected weakness at this moment and it is exactly what the Chinese wanted to see happen.
“It was a joke. It’s as if he thought it was like the Chinese spy balloon tour making its way across America selling t-shirts. I mean, this was a serious breach of U.S. airspace.
“It’s one more failure of several from this administration. Go back to the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle. The President is pleading with Iran and Venezuela to supply oil the United States. And here’s one more example of a failure of projecting weakness of the United States of America.”
Daines on the Deadly Fentanyl Crisis
“We’re a northern border state, we just talked about the incursion in our airspace, but we have a southern border crisis. It’s because the flood of two million illegals coming across the border this last year, but it’s the fentanyl and the drugs that are absolutely, literally killing us in Montana.
“So, Tom Schrapps is my guest at the State of the Union Address. He’s from Butte, Montana. Tragically, he lost his 24-year-old son to a fentanyl overdose last year. We lost eight Butte residents last year to fentanyl. This is a crisis. We have a record level of fentanyl deaths now in this country. It’s a direct result of the Mexican cartels who are producing it and flooding across the southern border, and our border patrol agents want to stop that fentanyl but they can’t because they’re overwhelmed by the illegals coming across the border and Biden can stop this. He can stop this if he changes his policy and builds the wall.”