Last night the French press reported that French president Nicholas Sarkozy and President Barack Obama were caught trashing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a microphone that they didn’t realize was on.
As per CBS:
“Netanyahu, I can’t stand him. He’s a liar,” Sarkozy reportedly told Mr. Obama, who did not object to Sarkozy’s assessment.
“You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day,” Mr. Obama reportedly replied to Sarkozy ahead of a news conference.
This afternoon Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm blasted Mr. Obama for the remarks and called on the president to apologize for the remarks.
“I find President Obama’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu highly offensive and call on him to issue a formal apology on behalf of the American people,” he said. “Whether the microphones are on or off, the message to our allies in Israel should always remain the same: ‘We stand with you.’”
Despite representing a district with a relatively limited Jewish population, Mr. Grimm has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel, and is co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus.
“President Obama’s comments are disgraceful and inappropriate coming from someone who holds the highest office in the United States,” Mr. Grimm continued. “They provide a poor and inaccurate reflection of the American people he was elected to represent, and they must be rescinded.”
The White House has declined to talk further about the incident, but Republicans are using them to point to what they say is distance between the U.S. and Israel.