POLITICS: PennAve

White House: Obama 'looks forward' to seeing French president

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,PennAve,France,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney,Foreign Policy

The White House said that President Obama is looking forward to a state visit from French President Francois Hollande, who is facing allegations he had an extramarital affair.

Press secretary Jay Carney was asked what the administration was expecting from Hollande’s visit scheduled for February and whether the White House knew whether Hollande would be accompanied by the French first lady or his alleged mistress.

“The president looks forward to seeing President Hollande for the state visit in February,” said Carney, delicately sidestepping questions about the rumored affair. “In terms of that question that you asked, I'd refer you to the French government.”

“We look forward to hosting the president of France here in February. This is our longest, most enduring alliance, and an important and valued relationship at every level,” he continued. “So the president is very much looking forward to the event and to his discussions with President Hollande."

A report in a French tabloid linked Hollande to actress Julie Gayet.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the French leader was asked if his partner Valerie Trierweiler was still the country’s first lady.

Hollande sidestepped the question saying that he would handle his personal affairs in private, according to reports, but added that he would resolve the controversy before the February state visit.

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