U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on Friday, April 16, raising controversy over President Joe Biden’s. The Japanese leader arrived in the United States for his first in-person summit.
“The president and I are very excited about the conversations we will have with the prime minister today,” Harris said as she welcomed Suga.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 16, 2021
“As you know, Mr. Prime Minister, you and I met just about a month ago during the Quad Summit, which was a meeting with the United States with our allies. Japan with Australia, and with India, where we had extensive conversations about a collaboration and a friendship around some of the biggest challenges facing our world,” she continued with the greeting speech.
The absence of President Biden when the Japanese leader arrived at the White House has stirred up criticisms. Many would see this as an act of disrespect.
“Doesn’t this make you question who’s really calling the shots in the White House?” Dinesh D’Souza, the host of the Dinesh D’Souza Podcast, tweeted.
Doesn’t this make you question who’s really calling the shots in the White House?https://t.co/zAHKV3z8Vp
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) April 16, 2021
Cutis Houck, the managing editor of NewsBusters, in his Tweet drew out the scenario if former President Trump would let Vice President Pence welcome national leaders on his behalf, saying the mainstream media would not leave him alone.
“If Vice President Pence welcomed and then showed the head of a major U.S. ally and global power around the White House and not President Trump, CNN and MSNBC would have melted down and insisted something was wrong with him,” Houck’s Tweet criticized.
If Vice President Pence welcomed and then showed the head of a major U.S. ally and global power around the White House and not President Trump, CNN and MSNBC would have melted down and insisted something was wrong with him.
But with Harris doing it for Joe, it’s NBD for journos. pic.twitter.com/wKleOfAi5X
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 16, 2021
“I’ve NEVER seen a sitting president not meet a visiting state official personally, and I worked there. Harris also gave the tour on the balcony, which is exclusively the privilege of the president. This is an insult to our ally. Where was our Joe Biden?” asked Republican Candidate for US Congress Buzz Patterson, Replying to The Hill’s post on Harris’ welcome speech.
“Wait… was Biden not healthy enough to meet with the PM of Japan today???” asked conservative comedian Tim Young in his tweet.
Wait… was Biden not healthy enough to meet with the PM of Japan today???
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 16, 2021
Biden did have some words of greeting with the Japanese leader before joining the news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with other world leaders to discuss China’s influence in Asia.
NBCNews quoted Biden saying, “The United States and Japan have a big agenda ahead of us,” before their news conference.
“Our cooperation is vital in my view, and I think in both of our views, to meeting the challenges facing our nation and ensuring that future of the region remain free and open and prosperous,” the U.S commander-in-chief continued.