Former President Jimmy Carter is giving the White House the benefit of the doubt in the controversy over the Paris march.
The White House has drawn fire for not having a high-level official representing the U.S. at the demonstration Sunday, a show of solidarity against terrorism that drew millions to the streets and was joined by dozens of world leaders.
“I don’t think there’s any need for criticism,” said Mr. Carter, responding to a question on criticism over the lack of U.S. presence in Paris.
Mr. Carter was at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History for an exhibit opening this month on disease eradication that his not-for-profit group, the Carter Center, helped develop.
“The president sometimes can’t go where he’d prefer to go,” said Mr. Carter. “He’s just come back from vacation so I think he’s probably got a lot on his desk… as you know the secretary of state is going over there to represent us.”
Later Monday afternoon, shortly after Mr. Carter’s comments, the White House said President Barack Obama regretted his decision not to send a more-senior-level administration official to represent the U.S. at the Paris march.