A French media organization says President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy both complained about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a private bilateral meeting that was mistakenly broadcast to a media conference room during last week’s G-20 summit in France.
Web-based news site Arret Sur Image reported that while journalists sat waiting for Obama and Sarkozy to give a joint press conference last Thursday, a technical mistake allowed them to listen in on a closed door conversation between both Presidents over their translation headset devices.
According to Arret Sur Image, Obama first complained that Sarkozy hadn’t informed him that France would vote in favor of Palestinian membership to UNESCO. Sarkozy then told the President what he thought about Netanyahu.
“I can’t stand to see him any more, he’s a liar.”
Obama apparently responded: “You’re tired of him, but I have to deal with him everyday!” Obama then reportedly asked for Sarkozy’s help convincing Palestinian leadership to slow down its bid for membership at the United Nations.
Arret Sur Image says that after translation headsets were inadvertently handed out, an announcement informed reporters in attendance that headsets had not been distributed to the press yet because they would allow them to listen in on the closed door conversation.
Dozens of journalists reportedly rushed to put on their headsets and listened in on about three minutes of private discussion between Sarkozy and Obama before French officials realized what was going on and cut the audio. Arret Sur Image says the majority of reporters who overheard the conversation agreed not to broadcast or report on it.