Biden Slanders US Allies Japan, India As ‘Xenophobic’

President Joe Biden is under fire after referring to crucial U.S. allies Japan as “xenophobic” during a campaign fundraiser Wednesday. The president lumped the nation in with India, Russia and China while arguing that their economic struggles are due to a lack of openness to immigration.

“Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia? Why is India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants,” Biden said according to an official White House transcript. The remarks were not included in an initial pool report but were later confirmed in the official record.

Biden’s comments come just weeks after he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a state visit and nearly a year after extending a similar honor to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both Japan and India are considered crucial partners in the U.S. strategy to counter China’s growing global influence.

The White House sought to clarify the president’s statement, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying Biden was attempting to make a broader point about the United States’ identity as a nation built by immigrants. “He was saying that when it comes to who we are as a nation we are a nation of immigrants that is in our DNA,” she said.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said he was unaware of any communications between the White House and the governments of Japan or India in response to the president’s comments.

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