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White House: We should have sent someone "higher profile" to Paris

The White House says it erred by not sending a higher-level official to an anti-terror march in Paris. CBS News State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan joins "CBSN" with the latest.
White House admits to "mistake" on Paris rally 04:48

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that the White House erred in not sending a higher-ranking official to a major unity rally in France over the weekend, a rare admission of wrongdoing from the briefing room podium.

"I think it's fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there," Earnest told reporters Monday.

White House criticized for lack of high-ranking official at Paris rally 02:59

The administration has received some negative attention due to the absence of its most prominent officials at a rally that was attended by more than 40 world leaders from countries that included Great Britain and Germany.

CBS News Correspondent Julianna Goldman reports that the administration has been saying the security apparatus necessary to include President Obama or Vice President Biden in such an event would have been a distraction. On Monday, Earnest added that the 36 hours of planning that took place before the event would not have been enough time to fulfill the "onerous" security needs of the U.S. president.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris to meet with his law enforcement counterparts from around the world, did not attend the rally, so the main U.S. representative at the march was U.S. ambassador to France Jane Hartley.

Secretary of State John Kerry pushed back on the criticism Monday, saying the detractors are just "quibbling" and that the lack of a high-ranking U.S. official did not signify a lack of concern over the shooting at a French newspaper last week.

"We have offered from the first moment our intel, our law enforcement and all of our efforts. And I really think that you know this is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched," Kerry said.

He appeared to conflate rallies in Paris and Washington, D.C. during his remarks, as Nuland marched in a rally in Washington and did not travel to Paris.

Sen. Marco Rubio on terror threat to U.S., absence of President Obama at Paris rally 05:25

One of the critics was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who said on "CBS This Morning" Monday, "I thought it was a mistake not to send hindsight I would hope that they would do it differently."

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