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Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and John Thune, R-S.D., conduct a news conference after the senate luncheons on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, in Washington, DC., on Nov. 15, 2022.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Joni Ernst says Biden has 'failed' on national security issues

Ernst told Meet the Press NOW that Biden's handling of the Chinese surveillance balloon is latest in a "history of failures."


Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Tuesday that the Biden administration did not act fast enough to inform the American people that a Chinese surveillance balloon was traversing the United States.

“We didn’t see the transparency necessary coming from the administration," Ernst said in appearance on Meet the Press NOW. "If this truly was not a threat to the American people, then that should have been put out by the president,” Ernst said.

She added that withholding this information adds to Biden’s “history of failures when it comes to national security issues.”

“I do think the president has failed,” Ernst said. “It very well could have been, still could be a national security interest, and we don’t know that because we haven’t had those briefings and we haven’t had the president be straight up with the American people.”

“Whether it was the administration or American military and they are not releasing information to the public, either as a warning or a caution or everything’s okay, then it is a failure of this administration,” Ernst added.

The Iowa senator also confirmed that she will not be running for president in 2024 and said she will not endorse a candidate in the Republican presidential primary.