Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The high-altitude Chinese balloon that hovered over Montana this week has sparked a great deal of comment from both state and federal officials.

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke called into the KGVO Talk Back show on Friday and said his first instinct was to ‘shoot it down’.

The Chinese Balloon may be out of Montana, but it's Still on our Minds

“It’s unbelievable,” began Congressman Zinke. “It’s a pretty simple solution on the balloon; just shoot it down. It's a balloon, Peter, and it didn't sneak up on Montana overnight. You know we probably watched it through the Aleutian (islands) chain. So now its over Montana and I don't buy for an instant the administration's idea that well we didn't shoot it down because we the chances of civilian casualties in the debris field. I guarantee you that the great folks from Roosevelt County would love to have it shot down over their sky.”

Congressman Zinke said the Biden Administration Failed this Test

Zinke said the fact that the balloon spent so much time in Montana airspace means that America’s leaders can’t make a decision.

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“I don't think Montanans appreciate the Chinese communist balloon overhead, and I don't appreciate it either,” he said. “So I think there's a big deal in that it foretells where this administration is with its priorities and how they react. This is once again inaction, constant inaction by our government that results in consequences that that go against the interests of our country.”

He said Doing Nothing Sent a Bad Signal to America's Adversaries

Zinke said doing nothing about the balloon sent a bad signal to America’s enemies.

“It gives a bad signal,” he said. “Number one, it's an embarrassment. If we can't handle a balloon how do you think the other nations are looking at NASA handling other problems like Taiwan. Once again, this is a series of events from this administration, such as Afghanistan, followed by when they gave the green light to Putin. And now we can't even deal with a balloon. It's really easy. Shoot it down.”

Governor Greg Gianforte also sounded off again about the Communist Chinese government balloon.

‘On behalf of the people of Montana, I write to demand answers on the Chinese Communist Party’s spy balloon which has infiltrated United States airspace, flown over the State of Montana, and continues to traverse our airspace,” Gov. Gianforte wrote to Lloyd Austin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). “Ultimately, the chief responsibility of government is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. The people of the United States and Montana deserve full, prompt answers.”

Gov. Gianforte emphasized that “it is critical for DoD and the administration to be forthright” and answer questions Montanans have, providing a list of questions to Sec. Austin. The governor asked Sec. Austin specifically, “What actions are being taken by DoD and the administration to take down the CCP’s spy balloon? If there are none, why not?’

At last report, the balloon was somewhere over the central United States.

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