In a “faux pas” for the ages, President Barack Obama conducted what he assumed was a private conversation about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Nicolas Sarkozy after the G20 summit on Thursday. The only problem, however, was that the microphones the two men were wearing from their earlier press conference, had not in fact been turned off. What ensued was a major public embarrassment after both Obama and the French PM disparaged Netanyahu, saying they cannot “stand” dealing with him.
According to a Monday report in the French website “Arret sur Images,” Sarkozy told Obama, “I cannot stand him [Netanyahu]. He is a liar.” Rather than exercising diplomacy, however, Obama hopped on the bash-wagon, reportedly telling Sarkozy: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
The conversation apparently began with President Obama criticizing Sarkozy for not having warned him that France would be voting in favor of the Palestinian membership bid in UNESCO despite Washington’s strong objection to the move.
The communication faux pas went unnoticed for several minutes, during which the conversation between the two heads of state – which quickly reverted to other matters – was all but open to members the press, who were still in possession of headsets provided by the Elysée for the sake of simultaneous translation during the G20 press conference.
The surprising lack of coverage may be explained by a report alleging that reporters present at the event were requested to sign an agreement to keep mum on the subject of the embarrassing comments.
According to Ynet, a member of the media confirmed Monday that “there were discussions between journalists and they agreed not to publish the comments due to the sensitivity of the issue.”
That explains why the world has not heard about the incident until now. Even more troubling, is the fact that journalists are meant to expose the truth, not hide it.
While it perhaps comes as no surprise that Obama harbors little affection for the Israeli PM, to have his true feelings revealed publicly in such a manner highlights the disingenuousness of any of his past complimentary sentiments for Netanyahu, and thus, is truly a cringe-worthy moment for the president.
Bold emphasis added by The Blaze.