New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson on Saturday for using the controversial term "occupied territories," saying he "misspoke" during his speech to a Republican Jewish Coalition event, Politico and CNN reported.
During his address at the event at Adelson's Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Christie spoke of his 2012 visit to Jerusalem, saying he was overwhelmed by displays of religious tolerance in the city.
"I took a helicopter ride from occupied territories across ... and just felt, personally, how extraordinary that was to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day," he said.
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The comment about "occupied territories" drew murmurs from some in the audience.
The Israeli government and by extension most of Israel's supporters in the US don't consider the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be occupied territory.
In a private meeting after the event, Christie, a possible Republican presidential candidate for 2016, apologized to Adelson, who is a big donor of the GPO, according to reports in Politico and CNN.
Quoting a source, Politico reported that Christie "clarified in the strongest terms possible that his remarks today were not meant to be a statement of policy."
The New Jersey governor also "conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement."
Sources told Politico and CNN that Adelson was satisfied with Christie's explanations and accepted his apology.
Reuters contributed to this report.