President Obama calls Kanye West a 'jackass'

The Kanye West/Taylor Swift scandal has now reached the White House. While giving an interview to CNBC today, President Obama reportedly called Kanye West a “jackass” in regard to West’s behavior at the VMAs. ABC reporter Terry Moran overheard this portion of the interview, which was supposed to be off-the-record, and immediately tweeted it. He wrote, “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a “jackass” for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.”

ABC then issued an apology stating, “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. 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.”

What do you think Music Mix-ers? Has the Kanye backlash gone too far? Or is he getting what he deserved?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s VMAs moment: What was he thinking?
Kanye West apologizes for interrupting Taylor Swift at the VMAs: “I’m not crazy…I’m just real.”
Lil Mama on VMAs run-in with Jay-Z, Alicia Keys: “I did not mean any disrespect”
Whitney Houston on ‘Oprah’: What do you think so far?

Comments (108 total) Add your comment
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  • Ugly Jenny

    I’ve always thought Kanye is an entitled, egotistical, tool and it was truly validated last night. I think this is one topic that President Obama and myself can agree upon. Was it the most “presidential” response? No, but maybe if word of Obama’s criticism of Kanye’s behavior gets back to him maybe he’ll finally grow up and eat a big ol’ piece of humble pie.

  • Rebecca

    Totally awesome. To be called a jackass by the President is epic on so many levels.

    • Daniel

      Right on. ROFL!

  • emily

    hahaha, Obama knows what’s up. Although that ABC reporter is probably going to be fired – that was incredibly unprofessional to tweet something the prez says off-the-record.

    • John

      I agree, it goes against more journalistic ethics violations than you can shake a stick at.

      • Shannon

        Agreed. By posting that, Terry Moran also joined the “jackass” club.

  • brandy

    hopefully this is enough to get him to shut his mouth in the future.

    if only there could be a backlash against monotonous autotune and using all caps.

  • James

    There’s something so wrong but so hilarious about using the phrase ‘prematurely tweeted’ in an official apology. And Kanye is a jackass, to put it politely.

    • snee


    • e4ia

      Usually the apology comes AFTER someone ‘prematurely tweeted’. I speak from experience.

    • mookie


  • Shell B

    It’s true. K West was acting like a jackass

  • k

    West was really a jackass, however it’s getting to be pathetic how much our president keeps on commenting on frivolous issues…doesn’t he have anything better to do??

    • fancypants

      he can multitask…he’s that brilliant. get used to it.

      • Bansek

        Now I'm inrtteseed to know how many Singles Ladies posts we've had in total (that's right we…I'm claiming it like a sports team, as in "we won this week"). I just hope they never die…the baby is adorable…I sang in my head the whole time "All the single babies" You know I love me some Kanye…he was right but tact is not something he does well. But I will always love him for "George Bush doesn't like black people". He should probably mind his manners from now on though unless he wants me to be the only one buying his album.

    • Tarc

      Are you trying to say that the President isn’t entitled to an opinion? The man works many 16 hour days, but he’s still entitled to some down time (heck, Bush was on vacation half the time; the rest of the time, he was just on mental vacation).

      • orville

        Besides, it was an off-the-record comment. Why shouldn’t he have an opinion on the matter? We all do. It was supposed to be conversational–water cooler type chat.

      • Judy

        are we going to have a ‘maddog-summit’ now? for pity’s sake, shouldn’t obama have learned by now that there are certain things he should just STFU about? i don’t care what his opinions are, tell michele, axelrod, holden, whatever… but do it behind closed doors.
        The guys got diarrhea of the mouth!!

      • Jason

        Since he’s the leader of the greatest Nation on the planet, I have to wonder which problems he ISN’T addressing that allow him even 30 seconds of down-time. When you are a CEO for a major corporation, you can have all of the down-time you need. However, when you are the President of the United States of America, you shouldn’t have any down-time at all. Especially Obama, especially now, with all of the problems our country faces on a daily basis. I didn’t vote for a Pop-Culture addict, I voted for a President. It’s time he starts acting like one, and time he stops getting involved in matters that do not concern him, or our country. Fix us, before you try to fix your approval rating.

      • John

        so youre saying the president of the united states is not entitled to watch tv? i dont care how strong your politically beliefs are or how much you hate him, but youre an idiot.

      • Mz Diva

        Jason you are a JACKASS for saying the President shouldn’t have any down time. Everyone needs some down time you idiot.

      • mocoloco

        Oh please, Jason. That’s just ridiculous. If you want to put a robot in office then you can work it all you want. However, HUMAN BEINGS require rest. Last I checked we’re in the business of electing humans for president. Also, having a comment about Kanye does not show he is a pop culture addict. It’s impossible to even glance at a tv, computer, or print publication without seeing the headlines plastered everywhere.

      • T


    • DTW

      They asked, he answered. It’s not like he brought it up. Get over it.

    • Ash

      Even though he is the president, he is also human and allowed to have an opinion on things that are not just politics.

    • ladyt


  • D

    I think someone should be asking whether or not this Terry Moran should have a job tomorrow.

  • Michael

    This backlash has gone too far. Taylor Swift is a multi-platinum, multi-award winning artist that is not some little wallflower that will be damaged for life from this. Kanye never said anything negative or ill toward Swift at the VMAs or in his apologies. He was only saying positive things about Beyonce. The fact that the world hates him now and that President needs to chime in, it’s gone too far. I think a lot of this falls into the framework of the King Kong symbology that is underlying people’s reactions. People need to move on and quit piling on. I am fully in support of Ye…plus, he was right.

    • Andrea

      Never said anything negative toward Swift? He was essentially saying “You don’t deserve this award”, even if he didn’t use those words. Whether he was right or not is irrelevant.

      • Andrea

        Kanye is rude, arrogant, and a !*&^%!

    • coco

      i think the backlash is so strong because this is not the first time kanye has done something like this. people are finally realizing what a tool this punk is.

      but i do think that its ridiculous that the president should chime in. come on man, you’ve got bigger things to worry about.

      • Traci Bennett

        The president didn’t “Chime In” it was not an “Official Statement” It was something, i’m sure, mentioned in small talk and quoted. Big deal. If he HAD issued an “Official Statement” then we could complain about it.

      • Nilla

        Even if the president did issue an official statement that Kanye West is, indeed, a jackass… I wouldn’t complain. The only problem with this is that Kanye West is now all, “Yeah, even the president knows who I am.” Bleck.

    • Tarc

      All things considered, Kanye has exhibited almost pathological levels of unbridled ego over the last few years. It’s about time he grew up, dropped the posse of sycophants, and did a little self-checking. His entitlement is out of control, and he deserves a severe reality check.

      • Rae

        1. The President’s comment was off the record. You know the main interview was wrapped up and they said, “Hey Prez, off the record, what did you think about Kanye last night,” and the President said, “What a jackass,” like ALL of us said this morning. 2. Kanye is a jackass so the President was just stating the obvious. Why is everyone upset?

    • John White

      So you think that any and all awards acceptance speeches should be subject to interruption by the losers or their supporters? What would that look like? Get a grip.

      This behavior is what is out of line, not the reaction. He cannot be condemned enough, only, hopefully,ignored or restrained more in the future. Less of that jerk is more.

    • mscisluv

      “King Kong” symbology? Oh, please.

    • Dawn

      The point is NOT how Taylor handled this. The point is this is the 2nd time he has pointed out that he is the only person on the planet smart enough to make decisions about who wins awards. (Remember when he tried to give his award to Outkast?) They wouldn’t have it. They wanted one from the judges. His talent is rapidly overshadowed by his ego.

    • Los

      Michael you are an idiot!!! Just because KanGAYe West liked B’s video better does not give him the right to voice his opinion during her time. He SNATCHED the mic from a 19yr old GIRL!!! His ego is way to big. Bet you he wouldn’t do that to a grown man because he is a punk!!!!! I wish I was there!!! I would have have ran up there and drop kicked him off the stage!!!! Kanye is so soft!!!!! And his actions prove it. And Michael you would defend a punk like Kanye because birds of a feather, flock together.

  • Dee

    How awesome is the President!!!!! seriously!!!!!!!

  • Ace

    My respect for our President just went up tremendously. I appreciate his honesty.

  • Pix

    Terry Moran should be be canned. He comes off as a pompous prick and his lack of integrity is evident in the way he sneers his reports.

  • nick

    @Michael, I really don’t see how this went too far I think Kanye West deserves all the criticism he has received thus far. Also lets not forget this is not the first Kanye outburst, he did something similar at the EMA’s a few years ago crashing the stage when he did not win. Not to mention he is one of the most arrogant musician (person) on this planet, with all his claims: king of pop now, best singer of this generation, I wanna be Elvis. He sure can make all the crazy claims (and perhaps back them up since he is no doubt talented) but now he has to sit back and get what he deserves, some much need criticism for an idiotic move hopefully this will tone his ego down and perhaps we can get back to talking about his music and not other incidents.

    • mscisluv

      I agree almost entirely, but he didn’t actually state that he was the new King of Pop. That was a made-up rumor. The sad part is that it’s totally believable he would say that…but in that case he didn’t.

  • Jane

    The most interesting thing about what Kanye revealed last night is the general anger in this country.
    I mean seriously – get mad at the injustices that matter and affect lifes!

    • Nilla


  • Kick

    I am shocked that people continue to talk about the MTV Awards, which haven’t been relevant since 1993.
    Taylor Swift was just another up and coming country singer yesterday and today she’s a household name. She might thank Kanye in time.

    • mary

      no no taylor was a household name before this. thats part of the reason why theres so much backlash. people really love her.

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