U.K. Press Up in Arms Over Obama Comments About Cameron

LONDON (AP) -
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive for their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron walk to the East Room of the White House in Washington, in this 2015 file photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The British press has accused President Barack Obama of launching an unprecedented verbal attack on British Prime Minister David Cameron in a magazine interview.

In the interview for The Atlantic, Obama faults Cameron and other allies for shortcomings in dealing with Libya after the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Col. Muammar Gadhafi.

The Times newspaper said Friday Obama’s criticism was “extraordinary” and The Independent front-page headline says “Obama savages Cameron over Libya.”

In the interview, Obama said Cameron had been “distracted” by other issues after Gadhafi’s fall. Libya has since descended into lawlessness and become a haven for Islamic State terrorists.

White House officials have tried to squelch the controversy by telling the BBC that the United States values Britain’s contributions. The two countries have long been close allies.