Audio: President Obama Calls Kanye West a 'Jackass'

09/15/2009 at 06:00 PM EDT

Kanye West

Kanye West



When, oh when, will the politicians learn to treat every microphone like a live microphone?

President Obama has found himself unwittingly in the middle of the awards show controversy between Kanye West and Taylor Swift after audio of chit-chat with a TV reporter leaked out on Tuesday.

Before a CNBC interview got underway Monday, the network's reporter John Harwood asked Obama if his daughters were upset that West had interrupted Swift's acceptance speech during Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards show, reports Politico.com.

"I thought that was really inappropriate," Obama answered, in what the White House believed to be off-the-record comments.

According to audio of the conversation, which hit the Web Tuesday afternoon, Obama went on to say, "You know, it was like, she's getting an award and what are you butting in? … The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person, she's getting her award and what's he doing up there? He's a jackass."

When White House aides and camera crew members gasped and laughed at the president's candor, Obama continued, "C'mon guys. Cut the president some slack. I've got a lot of other stuff on my plate."

Asked about the comments, White House spokesman Bill Burton said Tuesday: "Look, I'm not going to get into what the President had to say in an off-the-record conversation. But you should see what [White House chief of staff] Rahm [Emanuel] said about it."

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