Biden administration defends removing Churchill statue from Oval Office

Biden admin under fire for removing Churchill statue from Oval Office, offers this as defense

1/24/2021 3:39:00 AM

Biden admin under fire for removing Churchill statue from Oval Office, offers this as defense

The Biden administration on Friday defended the decision to remove a bust of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office -- creating a bright video designed to remind people 'what the Special Relationship is truly about.'

, as part of a tour of the new design of the famous room, reported that Biden"does not have the bust on display." However, other busts, including labor leader Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr., are on display.British Prime Minister Tony Blair had loaned President George W. Bush a bust of the British wartime leader in 2001. Former President Barack Obama had caused controversy by removing it when he entered office in 2009, and it was viewed by critics as a snub of the U.S.-U.K. alliance -- although his White House noted that there was still a Churchill bust elsewhere in the building.

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The controversy simmered for years, with then-London Mayor Boris Johnson noting in 2016 that"some said it was a snub to Britain." FormerPresident Donald Trump restored a bust of Churchillto the Oval Office when he became president, and posted with then-Prime Minister Theresa May during their first meeting in Washington in 2017.

"This is the original folks, in many, many ways," he told the press at the time."It’s a great honor to have Winston Churchill back.""We’re very pleased," May had replied.The U.K. government, which saw a pro-Brexit leader in Washington when Trump was president, will be watching to see how Biden handles relations between the two counties. The U.K. is hoping for a robust free trade deal with the U.S. now that it has left the European Union and is seeking to solidify its economic independence.

The decision by Biden to remove the bust had drawn criticism among conservative figures on both sides of the Atlantic. Reform Party UK leader and Trump ally Nigel Farage described it as a"slap in the face to the British and any prospects of good relations."

Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, was critical of the U.S. Embassy’s video. Read more: Fox News »

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Not something he remotely needs to defend, nor is it news. This is Fox non-news. Just rude and crude action to those who have walked beside us. Sent it out for disinfecting. That has been a historical monument and should not be removed this is such BS Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol building looking for lawmakers, some of armed with weapons and inside information, because they believed Trump told them to and you’re out here wasting bandwidth on a statue? What is it with the statutes? Idolatry?