Mayor Bill de Blasio spent part of his Friday welcoming his French counterpart while also battling criticism on the home front.
De Blasio spoke out after he was criticized for not responding to an Orthodox rabbi who castigated reform and Conservative Jews in a speech the mayor attended earlier this week.
The mayor insisted he did not hear the remarks.
"I did not hear the comments clearly. I have not seen a transcript of the comments," de Blasio said. "And it's really theoretical, if someone hasn't even heard something, to ask them what they would do about it. I just think that's not fair. I think it's inappropriate. I think it's a very questionable standard that's being held when you say to someone, 'You were in a room for part of a speech you didn't hear. What did you think?' That's not appropriate."
De Blasio later met with Anne Hidalgo, the newly elected mayor of Paris.
She's the first woman to lead that city and a member of the Socialist Party.
The mayor said he and Hidalgo share a similar vision of what their cities need.
He said they're both focused on early childhood education, affordable housing and the environment.