National Security

White House Declines to Say Whether Obama Views Bibi in the Same Light He Views Putin

The relationship President Obama has had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been under a microscope since Netanyahu’s speech in front of a joint session of Congress.

Major Garrett asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during Friday’s White House press briefing whether President Obama misspoke when referring to the United States relationship with Netanyahu as "businesslike."

Earnest said he did not believe that the president misspoke.

Garrett mentioned that the only other relationship that the president views as "businesslike" is with Russian President Vladmir Putin and if the president views both relationships in the same light.

Garrett’s question was met with giggles from the pressroom.

"I am not going to be in a position to dissect the relationship between the leaders of the United States and Israel," Earnest said.

Earnest went on to say that Israel remains our strongest ally in the Middle East and that all Garrett needed to do was examine the relationship the United States and Israel has. Earnest said that the relationship with Russia was a more interact one because of the serious actions Russia has taken against Ukraine but said that Obama and Putin were working closely together to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"When the president is having these conversations with world leaders he is doing so in the interests of the United States as it relates to our relations with these countries and that’s what our primary focus is on," said Earnest.