Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on Wednesday condemned the comments attributed to unnamed officials in the Obama administration who launched an unprecedented attack against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The officials, quoted on Tuesday by The Atlantic, referred to Netanyahu as "chickens**t", as well as “recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery."
“We know that relations between allies can be strained at times. But there is no excuse for Obama Administration officials to insult the Prime Minister of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, the way they did this week,” said McCain and Graham in a statement.
“Apparently the Obama administration does not believe it has enough problems on its hands dealing with America’s enemies in the Middle East – it also wants to insult and alienate our allies. That does nothing but harm to America’s national security interests, and President Obama must put an end to it immediately,” they added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the White House distanced itself from the anonymous comments.
"Certainly that's not the Administration's view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive," said Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the National Security Council, stated Wednesday.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu and the President have forged an effective partnership, and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month when the President hosted the Prime Minister in the Oval Office."
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki agreed there were issues "where we express concern and there's disagreement," but amid concerns that U.S.-Israeli ties are plunging to new lows, she insisted the U.S. relationship with Israel "remains strong."
"Our security bonds have never been greater and the ties between our nations are unshakeable," Psaki told reporters.
Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, echoed those sentiments later, saying in a forum in Washington, "The relationship is not in crisis. The relationship is actually fundamentally stronger in many respects than it's ever been.”
This is not the first time that McCain has criticized Obama’s foreign policy. In January, McCain similarly criticized Obama, opining, "I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but he pales in comparison to this president in my view."