President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande met in Washington on Thursday to discuss ways for the two countries to work together to defeat terrorism. But the White House apparently had zero appetite for Hollande’s mention of Islamist terrorism, since it censored the phrase from the official White House video of the meeting posted on the White House website.
Media Research Center, a non-profit media watchdog, was the first to report the White House censorship.
While the official transcript available on the White House web page includes Hollande’s use of the phrase “Islamist terrorism,” the White House video of the remarks muted the audio during that portion of Hollande’s remarks. The audio of the French-to-English interpreter stops right before Hollande characterizes “Islamist terrorism” as the root of terrorism in Syria and Iraq.
“But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq,” Hollande told Obama, according to the transcript of the exchange provided by the White House. “We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition.”
Watch and listen to the video below, which is available on YouTube through the White House’s official account, and you can hear the audio cut out right before Hollande says “Islamist terrorism”:
Here is the transcript of what Hollande said, with strikethrough notation to show what the White House censored in its video of the exchange between the two presidents:
Europe has been hit more, given that it is also the target of the terrorists and ISIS. We’ve seen it in Paris last year, as well as in Brussels. And together with President Obama, we worked on coordinating further our commitments, our organizations, our services when it comes to fighting against these terrorists. We are also making sure that between Europe and the United States there can be a very high level coordination.
But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism,
Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition.And we note that Daesh is losing ground thanks to the strikes we’ve been able to launch with the coalition. We are continuing to support Iraq. This is also a decision we have taken, supporting the Iraqi government and making sure that they can claim back their entire territory, including Mosul.
In the video, the entire audio of the feed is muted right before Hollande says “Islamist terrorism.” After he says the phrase, the audio returns, but without an English translation. The interpreter’s voice is not restored in the video until 12 seconds later.
Hollande’s use of the phrase “Islamist terrorism” is also censored in the White House’s official MP3 recording of the event.