America would have been “even more angry” if Australia had told the French they were scrapping the conventional submarine deal for a nuclear-powered one with the US and the UK before the AUKUS pact was announced, according to ASPI’s Peter Jennings.
It comes as US President Joe Biden claimed he did not know the French were unaware of the AUKUS deal being constructed behind closed doors.
But according to The Australian, American officials are in possession of a confidential memo – put together with their Australian and British counterparts – which contradicts President Biden’s statement,
The document shows Mr Biden’s advisers were fully aware the French had not been told about the AUKUS deal, and officials on the US National Security Council foresaw France’s reaction to the announcement.
“Everyone knows; anyone that’s been watching the submarine issue, this is a matter that has been of serious concern for Australia for well over a year,” Mr Jennings told Sky News host Peta Credlin.
“What I find even more disturbing really is the willingness of Joe Biden seemingly to sort of face … President Macron at the meeting in Glasgow, saying something that could not have been true.
“I think there’s another element to it, which is to say that I’m not sure he remembers the details of the briefs that he’s getting from his White House team.”