Obama Goes on Record to Call Kanye West a 'Jackass'

President stands behind leaked 2009 remark

Kanye West and Barack Obama.
Nick Harvey/WireImage; Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
April 12, 2012 4:05 PM ET

President Barack Obama has once again called Kanye West "a jackass," the Atlantic Monthly reports. In the magazine's new issue, reporter David Samuels calls on President Obama to answer the age-old question: "Kanye or Jay-Z?"

"Jay-Z," Obama tells Samuels. "Although I like Kanye. He's a Chicago guy. Smart. He's very talented." The reporter then asks, "Even though you called him a jackass?" referring to Obama's off-the-record comments about West that were leaked from a 2009 interview with CNBC. Obama's response: "He is a jackass. But he's talented."

The president first lobbed the epithet at West behind the scenes, while taping the CNBC interview. Video of the comment subsequently leaked and went viral on YouTube. At the time, the president was commenting on West's behavior at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when the performer stormed the stage to interrupt Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for her Best Female Video win.

West responded gracefully to the President's earlier comments in an interview with XXL, saying, "Obama has way more important stuff to worry about than my public perception." Time will tell how West deals with the repeat offense from the Oval Office.

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