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President Obama says Israel remarks by Helen Thomas 'offensive'

Speaking on NBC's 'Today' show Tuesday morning, President Obama said remarks about Israel by now-retired journalist Helen Thomas were 'offensive.'

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Longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas tours the U.S. Presidential Museum at the Small Business Service Bureau, Inc. in Worcester. Mass. on Nov. 9. 2005, prior to her speaking engagement at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Thomas abruptly retired Monday, June 7, 2010, as a columnist for Hearst News Service following remarks she made about Israel that were denounced by the White House and her press corps colleagues.

AP Photo/Tom Rettig/Worchester Telegram and Gazette

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President Barack Obama says he considers veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas' remarks about Israel "offensive."

Asked during an interview with NBC about Thomas' comments urging Israel to get "out of Palestine," Obama said he believes those statements were "out of line." At the same time, he said he recognized Thomas' long service covering presidents dating back to John F. Kennedy.

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He said it was a "shame" that her career has ended in controversy, but called Thomas' retirement announcement "the right decision."

The 89-year-old Thomas retired Monday as a columnist for Hearst News Service.


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