In a hot mic moment now heard around the world, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was reportedly caught gossiping to President Barack Obama about Israeli Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu at last week’s G-20 summit in Cannes, proving that not even heads of state completely leave middle school. Except now they all have bombs.
Sarkozy evidently thought he was sharing a private moment with Obama when he turned to his American counterpart and said, “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.” Obama kept his response slightly more diplomatically vague, and the White House has since kept mum.
For some reason, members of the media who witnessed the exchange agreed not to publish the details—Vive le journalisme!—but a French photo agency, Arret Sur, broke from the pack late on Monday. Here’s more. —KA
“WorldWatch” on CBS:
A Reuters news agency reporter who was also present has since confirmed the exchange.
As the two leaders discussion turns to Israel and the Palestinians, Sarkozy is first to express his distaste for the conservative Israeli Prime Minister.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” the French president was heard to say.
In response, according to the account by Arret Sur Images, Mr. Obama sympathizes with Sarkozy’s frustration, saying, “you’re fed up, but I have to deal with him every day.”
There is no immediate indication as to whether a recording of the private conversation exists.
AP / Charles Dharapak
Le faux pas: President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy field questions from reporters at last week’s G-20 summit in Cannes.