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National security adviser: US strength not undermined by Biden cutting Asia trip short

National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said President Biden’s move to cut his international trip short to head back to Washington amid debt ceiling negotiations doesn’t undermine the nation’s strength on the international stage.

“Doesn’t the fact that he had to cut this trip short to deal with this potentially catastrophic default that’s been months, if not years, in the making, doesn’t that undermine the very message that the United States is a reliable, stable partner?” host Jake Tapper asked Sullivan on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I gotta tell you, it really doesn’t,” Sullivan said, speaking from Hiroshima, where the Group of Seven summit convened. He said the G-7 conference has produced “actually a quite historic set of outcomes, all because President Biden is in fact leading on the world stage.” 

Biden had planned to visit Papua New Guinea and Australia after the G-7 wraps up on Sunday, but canceled the rest of his itinerary in order to return to the U.S. and take part in-person negotiations on the debt ceiling.

Sullivan stressed the outcomes of the conference, and said Biden sat down with the Australian Prime Minister during the G-7 the summit and met with some of the U.S.’s closest Asian allies despite not being able to conduct the rest of his trip.

“So when you look at the totality of the last three days, it’s actually a reflection of an exclamation point on the way in which President Biden has led on the world stage,” the national security adviser said.

“People understand democracies and they understand that there are moments in domestic politics when you’ve got to look at the homefront. But President Biden has been able to lead on the world stage and at the same time, stay engaged to ensure that the United States does not default.”

The Treasury Department has said the U.S. could run out of ways to hold off a default as soon as June 1, and the White House and Congress has been locked in talks on how to address the debt ceiling as officials warn of catastrophic economic consequences.

Source: The Hill

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