US State Department on Baratz comments: Troubling and offensive

November 5, 2015 21:47

WASHINGTON - The United States finds comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new media adviser to be "troubling and offensive" and Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken to the Israeli leader about the issue, the State Department said on Thursday.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry spoke to Netanyahu on Thursday and understood the prime minister "will be reviewing" the appointment of Ran Baratz as his communications director after the Israeli leader returns from his visit to the United States.

In comments made in a private capacity, Baratz has accused President Barack Obama of anti-Semitism and suggested Kerry had the mental abilities of a 12-year-old.

"His comments about US officials, including the president and Secretary Kerry, we believe were troubling and offensive," Kirby said. "We obviously expect government officials from any country, especially our closest allies, to speak respectfully and truthfully about senior US government officials."

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