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White House walks back Biden’s swipe at British allies

 May 13, 2023

The White House is playing cleanup for President Joe Biden after a remark that he made, claiming that the president deeply appreciates U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The remark occurred during a Wednesday night fundraiser during which he recounted his trip to Ireland in April.

The Comment

"I got to go back to Ireland for the Irish Accords, to make sure they weren't—the Brits didn't screw around and Northern Ireland didn't walk away from their commitments," Biden said, according to the Daily Mail.

"The off-hand comment resulted in fury among the British, who defended Sunak's work in delicate post-Brexit trade negotiations," it added.

National Security Council spokesman Adam Hodge later shared a statement with the outlet in defense of Biden.

"As the President said in Belfast, he deeply appreciates Prime Minister Sunak's leadership in reaching an agreement with the EU on the Windsor Framework and preserving the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement," he stated.

Brits Offended

"The White House said both leaders 'reaffirmed their shared commitment' to the Good Friday Agreement," the BBC reported after Biden's gaffe.

"The 1998 deal brought an end to the Troubles - the decades-long violent conflict in Northern Ireland in which thousands of people were killed," it continued.

Coronation too

The concern follows the recent coronation of King Charles III. Biden did not attend the event but sent First Lady Jill Biden instead.

“Headed to the U.K. for the Coronation of King Charles III – the first in 70 years!” Jill Biden tweeted before her flight to London.

“It's an honor to represent the United States for this historic moment and celebrate the special relationship between our countries," she added.

"Joe Biden's nonattendance has received a lot of negative publicity in the U.K. In fact, there's been a lot of condemnation of Biden's decision," The Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom Director Nile Gardiner said on "Mornings with Maria."

"And I have to say that Biden is viewed increasingly by the British public as very anti-British, and he has come under heavy fire," Gardiner added.

The Wednesday remarks show that Biden continues to struggle to connect with key allies as he stumbles in speeches over two years as president.