Boehner: Obama needs to clean house
© Greg Nash

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCan the GOP break its addiction to show biz? House conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney Ex-Speaker Boehner after Capitol violence: 'The GOP must awaken' MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said that profanity-laced attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from senior Obama administration officials were an implicit reflection of President Obama's views, adding that the official who called Netanyahu "chickens---" should be fired.

In a story by The Atlantic published Tuesday, senior administration officials described Netanyahu as more concerned about domestic Israeli politics than working toward a peace deal with Palestine.


"The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens---," one unidentified senior Obama administration said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. Another administration official called Netanyahu a "coward."

Boehner said that the administration officials should be dismissed.

"The president sets the tone for his administration. He either condones the profanity and disrespect used by the most senior members of his administration, or he does not," Boehner said. 

"It is time for him to get his house in order and tell the people that can’t muster professionalism that it is time to move on," Boehner added.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Obama should publicly denounce the “disgraceful” comments.

"I call on President Obama to firmly repudiate these views and to instruct his staff that such comments are completely unacceptable," McCarthy said. "Anonymous insults directed at allied leaders and delivered through the media are unprofessional, disgraceful, and undermine America’s interests by calling into question America’s reliability as a partner."

The White House said Wednesday that the derogatory remarks about Netanyahu were "inappropriate and counterproductive."

“Certainly, that's not the administration's view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counterproductive," National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said. "Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and the president have forged an effective partnership and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month, when the president hosted the prime minister in the Oval Office."

Boehner further argued that the controversy was part of a pattern of the Obama administration fundamentally disrespecting allies.

"Over the last several months, I have watched the administration insult ally after ally. I am tired of the administration’s apology tour," Boehner said. 

The Speaker said the Obama administration shouldn't be surprised if allies don't wholeheartedly support his agenda in light of such comments.

"The administration scoffs at the enduring willingness of members of both parties to maintain commitments to our friends and allies, contending that those commitments are mere sentiment, while all the while the administration and the president himself are taken aback that friends and allies won’t support him, when he ignores them and, in some cases, belittles them," Boehner said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it was "a little rich to have a lecture in profanity from the Speaker of the House," noting Boehner's "penchant for using some pretty salty language himself."

Earnest said he did not know who had made the comments to The Atlantic, and that he doubted President Obama knew.

But Earnest reiterated that "comments like that do not reflect the administration's view, and we do believe they are counterproductive."

In 2008, national news outlets quoted a Miami of Ohio student newspaper reporting Boehner had suggested Obama was a “chickens---” for voting “present” while a member of the Illinois legislature.

"In Congress, we have a red button, a green button and a yellow button, alright?" Boehner reportedly said. "Green means ‘yes,’ red means ‘no,’ and yellow means you’re a chickens---. And the last thing we need in the White House, in the Oval Office, behind that big desk, is some chicken who wants to push this yellow button."

— Justin Sink contributed to this report, which was updated at 1:32 p.m.