The criticism of [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] has rained down since the rapper snatched the microphone from Taylor Swift at the VMAs on Sunday night and interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video. From fellow musicians to fans and even Donald Trump, the stage bum-rush has been almost universally panned. And now, even President Barack Obama — whom West supported during last year's presidential election campaign — has reportedly weighed in.
While speaking to CNBC on Monday (September 14), Obama reportedly referred to West as a "jackass" in an off-the-record conversation, according to reports based on a tweet from ABC reporter Terry Moran that has since been deleted.
"Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential," Moran tweeted. While the Tweet was only up for a short time, Moran has more than a million followers, so it quickly bounced around the Internet and led to an ABC spokesperson sending an explanation to the political site Politico.com about what happened.
"In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview," explained the spokesperson. "This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again." The White House reportedly had no comment on the incident.
West has posted two different apologies to Swift on his blog and continued his apology tour on Monday night when he appeared on Jay Leno's new talk show and said he was "ashamed" of his outburst. The rapper said he plans to take some time off away from the spotlight in light of the incident.
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards may have wrapped, but the party is far from over. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates, party reports and much more.