Joined: 05 January 2013
Associated Press in Washington
US President Barack Obama has apologised to California's top lawyer for causing a stir when he called her "the best-looking attorney general" at a fundraiser they attended together last week.
The comment instantly lit up social media, with some highlighting it as an example of the hurdles working women still face in the US. Obama was criticised earlier this year for bringing in a heavily male group of second-term advisers.
A spokesman for Kamala Harris said she had a great conversation with Obama and strongly supports him, but would not say whether she had accepted his apology. Obama apologised by telephone on Thursday night, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
At a fundraiser in Silicon Valley earlier that day, Obama raised eyebrows when he said Harris "happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country. It's true! C'mon."
He also said she is "brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law".
Harris was present at the fundraiser and addressed the crowd before the president.
"He called her to apologise for the distraction created by his comments," Carney said on Friday. "He did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments and her capabilities."
He noted that Obama also commented on Harris' ability.
Carney said Obama "fully recognises the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance".
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