On the Today show Tuesday morning, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough took responsibility for not sending a high-level administration official to the Paris Unity Rally following the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices.
“We regret we didn’t send someone more senior than our ambassador, that rests on me,” McDonough said. “That’s my job.”
Dozens of world leaders were at the front of the march in solidarity with France against violent extremism. The Obama administration, however, was only represented by its Ambassador to France, not the President, nor even Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris at the time. The decision was widely critiqued by pundits and lawmakers, and the White House conceded a couple days later it should have sent a more senior figure.
“I regret it in particular because the mêlée that ensued after that has covered up the very good progress that our intelligence agencies [have made],” McDonough said. “That’s what we ought to be focused on. Unfortunately the decisions I made obfuscated that effort.”
Watch the clip below, via NBC:
[Image via screengrab]
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