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What does a billion and a half dollars buy you these days apparently not an ally.
At least that's what President Obama said last night about Egypt which gets a boatload of money from American taxpayers.
Late today the administration tried to walk that back.
This all comes as American diplomatic outposts all over the world are on heightened alert and US citizens are being warned about the dangers of traveling in some places.
Here's chief White House correspondent Ed Henry.
One day after accusing his Republican rival of shooting first and -- later president Obama's own administration -- -- damage control mode.
After the president use an interview with telemundo to suddenly reveal what sounded like a dramatic shift in US policy toward Egypt.
He I don't think.
That we would consider them and allies but we don't consider them an enemy today there are new government that is trying to find its way.
Back in the 1980s Egypt was designated as one of the hand.
Handful of major non NATO allies which under US law enjoy special status such as buying American military equipment more easily.
Nonetheless White House spokesman Jay Carney today insisted this was not a gaffe by telling reporters quote.
The president in diplomatic and legal terms was speaking correctly that we do not have an alliance treaty with Egypt.
Ally is a legal term of -- As they said we don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do for example with our NATO allies since the US also does not have mutual defense treaties -- not NATO allies like Israel State Department spokeswoman Victoria new lynch briefing today got a bit awkward.
And I'm I'm gonna refer you to the White House for further -- -- that's.
As reporters pressed dueling gay men and said Egypt is an ally and still revert to Egypt as a major non NATO allies and the school.
It's recipient of all the crew of the privileges that that entails yes.
The mixed message.
Continued on Capitol Hill and and -- I don't know that the -- -- will see the confusion comes is violence spreads across the mideast with hundreds of protesters storming the US embassy in Yemen.
And if the president continued his second partial day of campaigning out west.
He referenced a phone call he had with the Egyptian president Mohamed morsi prodding him to protect the US embassy in Cairo which -- faced violent protests for days.
-- -- also in contact with other governments to underscore that they've got an obligation to cooperate with us to protect ourselves.
That's part of their job.
Morsi finally issued a statement denouncing the violence and made this promise about -- -- -- -- we have to protect all visitors tourists -- embassies and diplomatic missions in Egypt was still some Republicans think billions of dollars in usaid should be on the chopping block.
Egypt is acted disgraceful -- president -- has been an apologist for Muslim Brotherhood.
-- Jay Carney today said the president is not considering withholding any aid to Egypt they think it's important to help this new government get on its feet.
Meanwhile just minutes ago mr.
Obama spoke by telephone.
With the president of Yemen who pledge that he is now added new security around the US embassy there to fortify Brett.
And and a lot of the north lawn Ed thank you much.
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