President Obama bestowed what must be the most patronizing compliment of 2014 to Britain and France Tuesday, comparing the American allies to his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, and claiming he “would never choose between them.”
The remark came during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, who is currently in Washington for an official state visit.
“You have actually praised France very warmly today, and granted our president the first state visit of your second term,” a French reporter asked Obama. “Does that mean that France has become the best European ally of the U.S. and has replaced Great Britain in that role, and if so why not extend the no-spying agreement you have with England, after the leaked scandal of the NSA surveillance program?”
Obama laughed off the question with a condescending response. “First of all, uh. . . I have two daughters,” he began, as reporters chuckled. “And they are both gorgeous and wonderful and I would never choose between them.”
“And that’s how I feel about my outstanding European partners,” he continued, to groans from the press. “All of them are wonderful in their own ways.”
“Now to the serious part of the question,” he went on. “What I do believe is, the U.S.-French alliance has never been stronger. And the levels of cooperation we’re seeing across a whole range of issues is much deeper than it was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. And that’s good for France, it’s good for the United States, it’s good for the world. Because we share certain values and certain commitments, and are wiling to act on behalf of those commitments and values.”
The president also stressed that a “no-spying” agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom does not exist. “It’s not actually correct to say we have a ‘no-spying’ agreement with Great Britain,” he stated. “That’s not actually what happens. There’s no country where we have a ‘no-spy’ agreement. We have, like every other country, an intelligence capability; and then we have a range of partnerships with all kinds of countries. And we’ve been in consultation with the French government to deepen those commitments.”
The French journalist was likely referencing reports of the “Five Eyes,” a once-secret intelligence sharing club between the English-speaking nations of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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