White House says Obama 'misspoke' in reference to death camps in Poland

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"I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman — a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday, according to AFP.

The flap occurred during the posthumous awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, to Jan Karski, a Polish officer who provided the Allies with underground information about the ongoing Holocaust during the Second World War.

The White House later issued a statement apologizing for the phrasing.

"The president misspoke. He was referring to Nazi death camps in Poland. We regret this misstatement, which should not detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and those brave citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny," said National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor in a statement.

Read more on The Hill's Global Affairs blog.

Watch the president's original remarks at Tuesday's Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony above.