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Chuck Schumer's Remarks on China Are About As Shamefully Partisan As You'd Expect

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

On Tuesday morning, ahead of President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addressed the administration's handling of the Chinese spy balloon. Before you get too excited, though, it was because he was already holding a press conference. He also began his remarks by bragging about how he was able to bring nine guests to the address later that night, going into great detail about his connections to such people, during what was already a short briefing. 

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After he also celebrated the supposed successes of the Biden administration thus far and lambasted Republicans on policy, employing that oft-used "MAGA Republicans" moniker, Schumer finally brought up balloon before taking questions. Not only did this follow in the same breath as the majority leader lambasting Republicans, but he also used it to praise the Biden administration. 

"Republicans are stuck, they can't govern, they can't agree on anything" Schumer claimed, looking to portray it as Republicans in disarray. "Instead, they're focused on political theater. They don't do--they're not trying to do anything real," he said with an awkward pause. "And we hope they won't continue to do this on something as important as the surveillance balloon," he went on to say.

"China, China sent that surveillance balloon over," Schumer emphasized, as if those who have pointed out how weak this president is on such a dangerous world super power need any reminding. "The Biden administration was calm, calculated, and effective, according to--they listened to the military experts, they listened to the intelligence experts, and they did the right thing," Schumer said, gesturing his arms out for emphasis. 

Well, that's one way to frame how the Biden administration kept it from the American people until it was too late and then came up with a narrative that it supposedly happened under the Trump administration, which Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former DNI John Ratcliffe have disputed.

When it comes to "listen[ing] to the military experts," that's also a curious way to put it that Biden wanted the balloon shot down sooner, only for his wishes to not be honored, despite him being the commander in chief.

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The absurd narrative only got worse from there, as Schumer really went for the partisan gaslighting. "But Republicans, even before they saw and knew what was happening started--some of them, not all--lambasting the president."

When it comes to knowing "what was happening," maybe it's worth pointing out that Republicans didn't know because they weren't properly briefed or informed. The American public learned of the balloon long after the Biden administration did, and even then they were snippy about people having a right to know more. 

Without evidence, Schumer claimed "those criticisms were, at best, premature, and in all probability, highly political. This is one area where we don't need politics." Schumer got more animated as he claimed, after having just criticized Republicans, "we need Democrats and Republicans to come together, we need the country to come together to condemn China for what it did, and have the same agenda."

How about that starts with telling the American people what is actually going on? And not looking so weak when it comes to standing up to the Chinese Communist Party? 

While taking questions, Schumer also mentioned quite the understatement about the situation. When asked his last question, "how would you describe the U.S. relation with China," in a word he pointed out it's "tense." When asked for follow-up as to what actions the administration is doing, Schumer pointed out that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his trip to China, which Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) had warned was "already ill-advised." The majority leader also vaguely offered that "I know the administration is looking at other actions that can be taken."

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The issue of being properly briefed remains relevant. Congressional leaders are reportedly receiving a briefing in the coming days. It does not appear, though, that the Gang of 8 has been briefed yet, despite how such a briefing could have come "as early as Tuesday," after such a request came from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). What briefing that members have received appear to be insufficient, as Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) shared with Fox News when it comes to a closed-door briefing he received. 

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