While the Obama administration is still taking flak for failing to send a top-level official to a Paris anti-terrorism rally, Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPompeo announces Israeli settlements do not violate international law Deval Patrick's 2020 entry raises stakes in New Hampshire Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide MORE is now being mocked for bringing France the music of singer-songwriter James Taylor.


Speaking with French President François Hollande, Kerry expressed "the full and heartfelt condolences of the American people" for the terrorist attacks of this past month, beginning with the strike on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

He was joined by Taylor who performed his well-known version of the Carole King song "You've Got a Friend." Taylor was in Paris promoting an upcoming European tour.

The move to involve Taylor immediately drew criticism on social media, particularly from conservatives.



Kerry, for his part, praised the French for their response to the attacks.

"But the American people watch you and your team, and indeed all of the government lead with great elegance and grace in this week, during this difficult time," he said, according to the State Department "And we watched the people of France come together with a great sense of purpose and unity. It was a great lesson to the world, I think."

The visit comes after critics slammed the White House for not sending anyone with a higher profile than the U.S. ambassador to France to a solidarity march on Sunday in the aftermath of the attacks. The event was attended by dozens of other heads of state from around the world.

The White House said this week it had erred in failing to send a high-level delegate to the event. Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderPelosi refers to Sinclair's Rosen as 'Mr. Republican Talking Points' over whistleblower question Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Obama celebrates 'great night for our country' after Democrats' victories in Virginia and Kentucky MORE was in Paris at the time but did not attend the rally.