Loose Lips? The double-presidential faux pas, which saw French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama accidently tell the world what they really think of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, caused a media frenzy on Tuesday, with many media outlets worldwide dubbing it "the juiciest thing since WikiLeaks."
French website "Arret sur Images" reported Monday that due to a technical glitch, the two presidents' microphones remained on after a G20 press conference held on Thursday.
Presidential slip: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu 'a liar'
Once the junket was over, the two retired to a private room, and Sarkozy was overheard as saying that he "could not stand" Netanyahu and that he believed him to be "a liar."
"Close, if occasionally awkward, relationship." The NYT
According to the report, Obama replied: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!"
Reporters privy to the exchange were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and withhold the report, but on Tuesday several French-speaking journalists, including ones form AP and Reuters confirmed that the exchange had indeed taken place.
"Must read." The Beast
"What do presidents do when no one else can hear them? The same thing the rest of us do: complain about other people!" US-based Gawker announced in an article titled: "Obama, Sarkozy Caught Bitching About Israeli PM."
"No love for Bibi," Politico declared, wondering why Washington had not issued any comment; while the New York Times said the embarrassing episode "marks another chapter in the close, if occasionally awkward, relationship between President Obama and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France."
The NYT noted that the White House "did not comment on the exchange… because the journalists who overheard it agreed not to publish the remarks."
The White House did not comment on the exchange, which the Web site said was not widely reported in France because the journalists who overheard it agreed not to publish the remarks.
Obama's Israel-bashing is an embarrassment for the leader of the free world," The UK's Telegraph announced, while the Daily Star took note that Israel remained "silent on Sarkozy 'outburst' over Netanyahu."
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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