White House Climate Envoy John Kerry went viral on Tuesday after telling French television that President Biden was unaware of the spat between the U.S. and France as it fueled last month.
During a Monday interview with BFMTV, Kerry attempted to smooth over the international dustup after France expressed it was blindsided by the Biden administration’s tri-lateral agreement between the U.S., U.K, and Australia over the exchange of submarine technology so much so that it prompted French President Emmanuel Macron to briefly pull his ambassador to the U.S. out of the country.
“[Biden] asked me. He said, ‘What’s the situation?’ And I explained- he had not been aware of that. He literally had not been aware of what had transpired,” Kerry said towards the end of the interview. “And I don’t want to go into the details of it, but suffice it to say, that the president, my president is very committed to strengthening the relationship and making sure that this is a small event of the past and moving on to the much more important future.”
“@ClimateEnvoy John Kerry says @POTUS isn’t consulted on reactions of key US Allies,” Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., reacted. “This could explain disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal & Biden Admin selling out Eastern European allies in NATO & Ukraine while waiving sanctions on Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
“What else does Joe Biden not know??” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., asked.
BIDEN NOT ‘AWARE OF WHAT HAD TRANSPIRED’ IN AUKUS SUBMARINE DEAL: KERRY
“If Joe Biden was not aware that France had recalled its ambassador, what else doesn’t he know?” The Federalist political editor John Daniel Davidson similarly wondered.
“John Kerry not doing the president any favors here…” Fox News contributor Joe Concha tweeted.
The interview with the French outlet came just weeks after a U.S.-U.K deal with Australia, dubbed AUKUS, voided a $40 billion 2016 submarine contract between France and the Aussie government.
The deal with France would have provided Australia with conventional submarines, while the new agreement will grant the Indo-Pacific nation with highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology.
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS US-AUSTRALIA SUBMARINE DEAL A ‘STAB IN THE BACK’
But the AUKUS deal has tarnished U.S. ties with the EU nation, and France’s minister of foreign affairs called the move a “stab in the back.”
A top EU official appointed by French President Emanuel Macron further suggested last month it was time to “pause and reset our EU-U.S. relationship.”
While Kerry told the French outlet he understood France’s anger, he also suggested U.S. ties with France were more important than a geopolitical squabble.
“We have a relationship with France that is so much bigger than this moment of what happened with respect to a lack of communication,” he said. Adding that there is an “understanding that we have so much to work on.”
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“Our commitment…to our ability to work together is much, much stronger to any of these differences over the last few days,” he continued. “President Biden looks forward to meeting with President Macron and I’m absolutely confident that the bigger issues we have to work on, about nuclear weapons, about cyber warfare, about climate…we have a lot of work to do and we can’t get lost in a momentary event that I think we will get past very quickly.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.