White House Chief Of Staff Claims Blame For Obama’s Paris Snub

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s top deputy tried to claim the blame for the White House’s much-criticized failure to send any top official to the huge anti-jihad demonstration in Paris.

“We’ve said we regret we didn’t send someone more senior than our ambassador — that rests on me, that’s my job,” Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday.

However, McDonough’s effort to claim the blame may be intended to shield Obama, who has long been reluctant to publicly acknowledge the tie between Islam and Islamic terrorism.

Instead, Obama and his deputies argue that Islam is a “religion of peace,” despite the huge number of murders, bombings and attacks that has been conducted in Islam’s name since 2001.

That reluctance to credit Islam for Islamic terrorism was spotlighted Jan. 11 when no top official went to the “unity rally” in Paris that was attended by top leaders from 40 countries.

The demonstration and snub came only four days after the shocking January 7 jihadi murder of eight left-wing journalists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. The attackers yelled “Allah is supreme over you,” or “Allah Akbar,” after they murdered the journalists.

Allah is the Muslim deity.

Officials said Obama’s security made it difficult for him to attend the short-notice event. But not even Vice President Joe Biden joined the well-guarded demonstration. The administration’s snub was so complete that Attorney General Eric Holder did not join the demonstration, even though he was in Paris on Jan. 11.

Only the little-known U.S. ambassador to France attended the event.

McDonough’s effort to take the blame may spare his boss political further embarrassment.

The criticism of the White House’s failure to join the demonstration “obfuscated and covered up the very good progress that our intelligence agencies, our law enforcement, FBI and DoJ, and all the cooperation that we are undertaking, not only with our French counterparts, but with our European allies across the board to confront this threat,” McDonough told NBC.

“That’s what we ought to be focused on — unfortunately the decisions I made obfuscated that effort,” he insisted.

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