White House: We Should Have Sent ‘Higher Profile’ Official To Paris Rally

January 12, 2015 2:02 p.m.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday conceded that the White House should have sent a more senior American official to the Unity rally in Paris.

“Some have asked whether or not the United States should have sent someone with a higher profile than the ambassador to France. And I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there,” Earnest said at the White House press briefing.

“That said, there is no doubt that the American people and this administration stand foursquare behind our allies in France as they face down this threat,” Earnest added.

The White House drew criticism over the weekend for not sending a senior White House official to the Unity rally in Paris following the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. More than 70 foreign officials attended the march.

Jane Hartley, the American ambassador to France, attended the rally to represent the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder attended a security summit in Paris on Sunday, but was not seen at the rally.

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