Obama's top aide takes blame for U.S. absence in Paris march

US President Barack Obama's chief of staff on Tuesday took responsibility for not sending a top US official to a Paris unity march after deadly Islamic militant attacks in the French capital earlier this month.

Denis McDonough said in a television interview that it was his decision not to send the president or a high-level American representative to the Jan. 11 march, where the U.S. absence drew criticism.

"We regret we didn't send someone more senior than our ambassador, that rests on me. That's my job," he said, speaking on NBC's "Today" program.

At the march, 44 foreign dignitaries joined French President Francois Hollande in leading more than a million people through Paris in a show of solidarity after Islamist militants killed 17 people in three days of attacks in the city.

The United States was represented by its ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.

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