— In what were supposed to be off-the-record comments, President Barack Obama called musician Kanye West a "jackass" because of the performer's outburst at a music awards ceremony.
The comments were mistakenly sent out via the online service Twitter by ABC News' Terry Moran, who had access to off-the-record comments Obama made while being interviewed Monday by CNBC.
"Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential," Moran, a "Nightline" co-anchor, wrote Monday evening.
Moran quickly deleted the comment but it was still accessible online.
ABC News later issued a statement apologizing for reporting comments meant to be off the record.
Moran "prematurely tweeted ... 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 spokesperson said in a statement first issued to politico.com.
The White House has not responded to the incident.
West was widely criticized, and later apologized, for interrupting Taylor Swift after she won a best female video award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.
West took the microphone from Swift to proclaim that Beyonce was more deserving.