U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the remarks made by anonymous U.S. officials calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "chickenshit" in an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffry Goldberg, during a press conference in Washington on Thursday.
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Kerry noted that since his tenure as secretary of state began, he has never heard the derogatory term used regarding Netanyahu.
"Such statements are disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging. I don’t know who the people that said those things are but it made our lives much harder," Kerry said.
Kerry echoed statements made by U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, who said during Wednesday's daily briefing that the statements about Netanyahu in The Atlantic came from anonymous sources, and that "President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry don't see them as accurate or appropriate."
According to Psaki, such statements are "not productive and not constructive," and the sources who gave interviews to The Atlantic did so without authorization.
"If this issue comes up we will make sure it is clear it's not reflective of the secretary's views," she said, adding that "when the secretary speaks next to Netanyahu, he will make cleat it is not our view."