‘Morning Joe’ Mocks Republicans ‘Hyperventilating’ Over the China Spy Balloon: ‘We Surveil China All the Time’ (Video)

Joe Scarborough adds that the right’s latest talking point is just another instance of them making “clowns of themselves”

Like everyone else in the world, the “Morning Joe” studio discussed the saga of the China spy balloon Monday.

On Saturday, the U.S. military shot down the suspected Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina, after it had made its away across much of the U.S. Republicans have criticized Biden for not shooting the balloon down sooner, as it was able to float over sensitive military installations. China claimed the balloon was a meteorological research vessel that was blown off course.

The balloon also stalled a planned meeting of high-level officials from the U.S. and China on Friday. When news broke of it floating about 60,000 feet above the mainland U.S. last week, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken postponed his trip.

The “Morning Joe” panel discussed the intrusion, but doubts that the country was trying to provoke the U.S. at this very moment. Host Joe Scarborough made it clear that he thought cancelling the meeting was a mistake.

“The lunacy as if they don’t spy on us and we don’t spy on them,” Scarborough said. “[The balloon] is a problem, and it’s a problem that needed to be taken care of and was. And it’s a problem that we need to talk to the Chinese about, but we can’t do that if we’re cancelling the first diplomatic mission that we’ve [had] there since Biden was president of the United States.”

Richard Haas, the President of the Council of Foreign Affairs, also said that he thought it was a mistake to cancel the meeting, despite the balloon’s presence over Montana at the time.

“I would’ve gone ahead with the diplomacy, it would’ve given the Secretary of State the first chance in a half dozen years to speak with Xi Jinping, who is the only person there who really matters,” Haas said. “We’ve got enormous issues on the agenda, like growing Chinese support for Russia and what it’s doing in Ukraine. Obviously, we don’t want Taiwan to trigger a war between the world’s two largest economies. We have real issues to discuss with China. It’s not the first time they’ve sent balloons over.”

Haas said that even though China may have been intentional in sending the surveillance balloon to the U.S., they likely did not intend to disrupt the summit.

“If they wanted to cause a crisis in the United States, trust me, they got a lot of ways to do it,” Haas continued. “The Republican hyperventilating here, it seems to me, goes against crisis management. The whole idea is to slow things down, to calm things down, not to overreact.”

Scarborough expressed his confusion over Republicans’ anger over the balloon, as he said possible espionage shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

“The fact that some of these Republicans are so shocked that this happens, we do it all the time, we surveil [China] all the time, it’s what happens,” Scarborough said. “Again, this is an incursion and we should treat it seriously, but should we declare it the end of Western civilization and should we cancel a summit when we have a war in Ukraine?”

He concluded: “[Republicans] make clowns of themselves.”

Watch the full panel dicussion above.