ICYMI—Hagerty Joins America Reports on Fox News to Discuss Latest on Aerial Objects, Biden’s Weakness Against Adversaries

February 14, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today joined America Reports on Fox News to discuss the Senate classified briefing on the recent aerial objects shot down by the American military and the Biden Administration’s inability to demonstrate strength against Communist China.  

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on the need for transparency from the Biden Administration:“I can’t go into the details of what came out of the classified briefing, but I can say this: there’s a desperate need for transparency from the Biden Administration. The Biden Administration seems to coddle and baby the American public. They think we can’t handle the truth. We need to know what’s happening. We need to understand why they’ve treated these objects as they have. It’s quite disturbing to me to see an object that came from Communist China—they knew that—yet they allowed it to traverse our airspace for days… We don’t know the origins of the other [objects] yet. It’s interesting, though, when we know it comes from China, we don’t shoot it down. When we don’t know the origin, we take it down right away. Again, there’s so many contradictory aspects of this that the Biden Administration, again, needs to step up and share what they know with the public. The fact that they don’t know certain aspects is a real concern as well, if that’s the case.”

Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s refusal to hold Communist China accountable: “There needs to be a clear picture of how the Biden Administration reacts to it. Because what we’ve seen in the initial instance with the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] balloon, their reaction time was very, very slow. Way too slow. And they allowed the balloon to invade our sovereignty, and traverse our entire airspace. It’s, yet again, another demonstration of weakness. You think about the CCP invading our sovereignty at our southern border, shipping fentanyl into this country and killing hundreds of thousands of people. You know, we do nothing about it in this Administration. You think about the origins of Covid? No accountability. We need to demonstrate strength.”

Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s diplomatic failures: “I was U.S. Ambassador to Japan in the previous Administration. Our job is to maintain close connectivity, certainly at a military level, to be able to de-conflict issues. And the fact that Secretary [Lloyd] Austin can’t get a phone call returned from his counterparts in China, that shows to me a major diplomatic failing in their relationship right now. We’ve got a real problem here, and it needs to be addressed. Congress can call on the Administration to do it, but this is the domain of diplomacy and largely that should be held by the Executive Branch.”

Hagerty on Russia invading U.S. airspace in the wake of the Chinese spy balloon: “When I was Ambassador to Japan, it was routine that Russia would test the Japanese airspace, and that was dealt with in the same manner. It’s a routine way to deal with a test of our sovereignty. The fact is the Russians decided it was an opportune time to test our sovereignty because they witnessed what’s happened here in the past couple of weeks… They should always be prepared to intercept these sorties. I think that’s standard operating procedure to be prepared, but the fact these sorties came, I think, is a direct result of the violation of our sovereignty that China demonstrated over the past couple of weeks.”