Prior to Security Briefing, Daines Releases List of Questions for Biden Administration Officials

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following list of questions that remain unanswered regarding the Chinese spy balloon that crossed the United States from January 28 to February 4, 2023, spending eight days in American airspace. Daines will receive a security briefing later today from Biden Administration officials where he hopes the questions below will be answered. Daines viewed Top Secret information from the administration earlier this week but many of his questions still remain unanswered.

“This situation raises a number of national security concerns and has been a tremendous embarrassment for the United States. The Biden administration’s weakness was on full display to the entire world. Given the significant role Montana plays in the security of the country by housing nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base, it is imperative that we get to the bottom of this situation and learn from it to ensure it doesn’t happen again. My hope is that the administration will address the concerns of myself and my colleagues today so we can start that process,” Daines said.

Daines’ questions are below:

  1. Why was the balloon allowed to enter US airspace if it was a violation of international law to do so?
  1. How close did the balloon get to Malmstrom Air Force Base and our missile silos?
  1. What other sensitive national security and military sites did it fly over?
  1. Did the balloon have a self-destruction device as has been reported? If so, why wasn’t that deemed to be a significant threat?  
  1. How many square miles of Montana could it have collected surveillance over?  How many square miles of the country?
  1. Was the balloon communicating with satellites or with Chinese-manufactured telecom equipment on the ground?
  1. Why was a missile used to shoot the balloon down instead of the F-22 20mm cannon. Do we have experimental aerial direct energy weapons (lasers) that could have been used to down the balloon?
  1. How was it determined that balloons flew over the US during the previous administration?
  1. Why did administration officials tell the media this happened in the previous administration and then later clarified to say the previous administration did not know about it?
  1. It was reported you may hit 2000 people if you blew it up over Montana. How did you calculate that?


Upon hearing that the balloon was over Montana airspace on February 2, Daines immediately sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding a security briefing. In that letter Daines stated, “There is no higher priority for your administration than the safety and security of the American people and it is imperative that your administration reassure them of that fact at this time.” 

Contact: Matt LloydRachel DumkeBlake Kernen