White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would not say Tuesday if the Obama administration considers Afghan President Hamid Karzai an ally.  


Gibbs criticized the Afghan president after Karzai took a shot at Western leaders and the United Nations for election fraud in his country during last year's presidential contest.

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Administration officials said Tuesday that they will continue to "evaluate" remarks made by  Karzai, and that the evaluation could result in Karzai's May invitation to the White House being revoked.



President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE extended an invitation for Karzai to visit the White House on May 12, but that could be in jeopardy if Karzai continues to make "troubling and untruthful" comments.



Asked at the daily press briefing if the U.S. considers Karzai an ally, Gibbs said "Karzai is the democratically elected leader of Afghanistan."


Pressed on the issue, Gibbs said that "the remarks he’s made I can’t imagine that anyone in this country found them anything other than troubling...when the Afghan leaders take steps to improve governance and root out corruption, then the president will say kind words."


Gibbs added that the administration will continue to use "stern language" with Karzai if it doesn't take steps to root out corruption and questioned the rationale behind Karzai's controversial statements.



"Whether there's some domestic political benefit that he's trying to gain, I can't say," Gibbs said.