The United States should have been represented at a unity rally held Sunday in Paris and attended by more than 40 world leaders, CNN’s Jake Tapper said during a news segment.
“I don’t mean this as a criticism of the Obama administration, but just as an American I do wish that we were better represented in this beautiful procession of world leaders,” Tapper stated.
It is estimated that more than 1 million people attended the unity rally, which was held in response to the murders of 17 people at the hands of Islamist terrorists this week.
The rally was highlighted by a rare public display of unity among top world leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and dozens of others, who marched arm in arm through the streets of Paris.
Notably absent: President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Sec. of State John Kerry.
“I’m a little disappointed, personally — this is me speaking personally, not as a representative of CNN, but as an American — that there isn’t more of a display of unity here,” Tapper continued.
He pointed out that Attorney General Eric Holder is the highest-level U.S. representative currently in France. He is there to attend a conference on extremism, but did not attend the rally. He instead sat for interviews with NBC, CBS, and CNN.
“This is just one of the most incredible events I have ever attended, and the positivity that these people of France are embracing,” Tapper continued.
“This is a rally that is expressing brotherhood and sisterhood and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.”
Tapper responded to commenters on Twitter, saying that he was not specifically criticizing President Obama for the lack of U.S. presence, though decisions whether or not to send top dignitaries to such events are usually made at the highest levels of the White House.