Biden administration defends removing Churchill statue from Oval Office

Biden administration defends removing Churchill statue from Oval Office

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.”

“We’ve
seen
some
discussion
about
the
Churchill
Bust,
so
we
just
wanted
to
remind
everyone
what
the
Special
Relationship
is
truly
about,”
a
tweet
from
the
U.S.
Embassy
to
the
U.K.
said.

BIDEN
REMOVES
CHURCHILL
BUST
FROM
OVAL
OFFICE
AS
PART
OF
REDESIGN

The
video
contrasts
pictures
of
the
busy,
which
it
describes
as
“just
a
bust
of
Winston
Churchill”
with
pictures
of
former
presidents
meeting
with
former
prime
ministers

and
highlights
of
the
U.S.
U.K.
relationship.

“Largest
investors
in
each
others
countries.
This
is
the
Special
Relationship,”
the
video
said.
“The
Special
Relationship
is
about
people,
values
&
trust.”

President
Biden
had
removed
the
bust
of
former
U.K.
Prime
Minister
Winston
Churchill
from
display
in
the
Oval
Office.

The
Washington
Post,
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.

The
controversy
simmered
for
years,
with
then-London
Mayor
Boris
Johnson
noting
in
2016
that
“some
said
it
was
a
snub
to
Britain.” 

Former

President
Donald
Trump
restored
a
bust
of
Churchill
to
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.

“The
Biden
White
House
is
doubling
down
on
removing
the
Churchill
bust
from
the
Oval
Office,
saying
it
is
‘just
a
bust
of
Winston
Churchill,’
he
said.
“Sir
Winston
Churchill
saved
the
free
world.
He
is
a
huge
hero
on
both
sides
of
the
Atlantic.
Show
some
respect.”

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The
Biden
administration’s
move
to
downplay
any
controversy
was,
however,
shared
by
the
U.K.
government.
Asked
about
the
bust,
a
spokesman
for
10
Downing
Street
told

The
Daily
Mail:
“The
Oval
Office
is
the
President’s
private
office
and
it
is
up
to
the
President
to
decorate
it
as
he
wishes.”

The
spokesman
added:
“We
are
in
no
doubt
about
the
importance
President
Biden
puts
on
the
U.S.-U.K.
relationship.”

Adam
Shaw
is
a
reporter
covering
U.S.
and
European
politics
for
Fox
News.
He
can
be
reached
at
adam.shaw@foxnews.com.

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