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‘He Was, Uh, At The Eiffel Tower’: Biden Says French President Wasn’t There To Take Congratulatory Call
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 24: French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates his re-election at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on April 24, 2022 in Paris, France. France's centrist incumbent President Emmanuel Macron beats his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the presidential second round for a second five-year term as President. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

President Joe Biden said Monday that French President Emmanuel Macron had not been available to take his call offering congratulations for his reelection win.

Biden explained that he had called, but had spoken to staff members because Macron had been busy celebrating his win.

“I tried to talk to [Macron] last night. We spoke with his staff, but he was uh, at the Eiffel Tower having a good time,” Biden told reporters on Monday.

Macron won 58.5% of the vote during a runoff election that took place on Sunday. He and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen had advanced from a field of 12 candidates to the runoff after the April 10 election, and Sunday’s final vote made Macron the first French President in two decades to win reelection.

Macron acknowledged during his victory speech that some had voted for him not because they liked him but because they had concerns about the far-right position taken by his opponent — and he promised to address their concerns and unite France going forward.

“An answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right,” Macron said as he declared victory on Sunday. “It will be my responsibility and that of those around me.”

President Biden also offered his congratulations to Macron in a tweet late Sunday, saying, “Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on his re-election. France is our oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges. I look forward to our continued close cooperation — including on supporting Ukraine, defending democracy, and countering climate change.”

Macron reportedly did take a call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however. “Macron spoke to Zelenskiy tonight, who congratulated him on his re-election, the Elysée says,” Reuters reporter Michel Rose tweeted.

The French President is not the first world leader to miss a call from the White House in recent weeks, either.

“This is the second world leader in just months who ignored Joe Biden’s phone calls,” New York Post reporter Jonathan Levine tweeted, going on to share an article about leaders from both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who declined to take phone calls from President Biden amid the Russian war on Ukraine.

“This was March,” he added in the caption.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Saudi and UAE leadership indicated that they would not help President Biden address rising gas prices unless he agreed to support them in Yemen.

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