TODAY

TODAY   |  January 15, 2014

French president will not address suspected affair

Francois Hollande, the president of France, has still not directly responded to claims he has conducted an affair with an actress, as his long-term partner remains hospitalized. NBC’s Keri Simmons reports.

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>>> with the rumors of an affair that are swirling around the president of france . he held a news conference on tuesday that raised more questions than it actually answered. good morning.

>> reporter: hey, matt, good morning. one of the things that was extraordinary about this news conference was that the president of france appeared to leave the future of the woman who is called the french first lady hanging in the balance . it means, we simply don't know who president holland will bring with him when he makes an official visit to washington next month.

>> reporter: a competent french president determined not to talk about his alleged affair with a glamorous actress faced hundreds of reporters with one thing on their mind. a magazine's claim to have pictured holland meeting his lover disguised by a motorcycle helmet. his long-term partner, france's first lady valerie trailier reportedly to be suffering the blues. and said he wouldn't say anymore. compare that approach to president clinton during the lewinski scandal.

>> i did not have sexual relations with that woman.

>> in america, i mean, in england, to lie, very bad things. in france, to lie is a bad thing as well, but not that much.

>> in french politics , an affair never used to be such a dangerous liaison as they explain private lives used to stay private.

>> and i think you need to have a private life .

>> this is the way things are now. everything's in a few seconds. everything.

>> reporter: president holland promised his love life would be sorted out by the time he visits washington , which gives him less than a month to decide who will be his first lady at february's white house state dinner .

>> reporter: so expect more news before that washington trip, but don't expect a change of attitude. holland spoke longer at his news conference, matt, than chris christie did at his conference last week. but holland never once said sorry. the french really do do things differently.

>> all right. i would imagine that people at the white house organizing that state dinner are a little bit confused about what to do, as well.

>> they're scribbling, crossing out name yards.

>> maybe they could have a bench at the french president 's spot.

>> plus one, plus five?