CircleCI’s AWS CLI is old. That’s why people install the CLI from Python’s pip rather than using apt-get.
Technically speaking, there is no “CircleCI’s AWS CLI”. CircleCI uses Docker, and there are pre-build Docker images, which use Debian 8 (Jessie) and Debian 9 (Stretch) currently. Debian 9’s AWS CLI is 1.11.13 and Debian 8’s CLI is 1.4.2. They are really old. CloudFront was “preview” at that time.
It is better to ignore these ancient versions. Just install the latest CLI from pip.