White House: Giuliani criticism 'sad'

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has damaged his legacy by saying President Obama does not love America, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

"It's sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain level of public stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly," Earnest said at the daily briefing. "I don't take any joy or vindication or satisfaction from that."

Earnest pointed to the many speeches Obama has given, even around the world, expressing his love for country and belief that the United States can be a force for good in the world.

"We can study those examples," Earnest said, adding that he was not aware of any personal reaction from Obama.

Giuliani caused a political firestorm this week, after Politico reported remarks he made during a private dinner in Manhattan on Wednesday where he said he doesn't think "the president loves America."

“He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up, and I was brought up through love of this country," Giuliani added, according to Politico.

Giuliani has since defended his comments in a slew of interviews, including on Fox News, CNN and with The New York Times. He has clarified he believes Obama does love the U.S., but doesn't vocalize his patriotism as much as former presidents.

"I'm not questioning his patriotism — he's a patriot, I'm sure. What I'm saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things I used to hear Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcAuliffe: We should look at impeaching Trump over Putin summit What ISIS is up to during your summer vacation Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report MORE say about all the things he loves about America. I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents," Giuliani said on "Fox and Friends" Thursday morning.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) criticized his comments, though at least one Republican, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, has said he thought the "gist" of Giuliani's remarks were true.