WASHINGTON - The White House sought on Wednesday to limit damage to US-Israel relations following revelations that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a private conversation with US President Barack Obama.
"Our record speaks very clearly about the president's commitment to Israel and he has maintained a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu," White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters, referring to Obama.
Reporters covering the G20 summit in Cannes last week overheard French President Nicolas Sarkozy call Netanyahu a "liar" while talking to Obama.
Instead of contradicting Sarkozy's characterization of Netanyahu, Obama appeared to commiserate. "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," the U.S. president replied, according to the French interpreter.
The White House declined to comment on the Obama-Sarkozy conversation, citing its private nature.