President Obama ignored reporters’ questions Thursday about a newspaper column written by Russian President Vladimir Putin that criticized Mr. Obama for promoting American “exceptionalism.”
Mr. Obama gave an opening statement to reporters at the start of a Cabinet meeting. When reporters’ called out questions to him about Mr. Putin’s op-ed, the president simply replied, “Thank you very much, everybody.”
Journalists were then ushered from the meeting.
As he seeks to broker a deal with the U.S. over Syria’s chemical weapons, Mr. Putin penned an article in Thursday’s New York Times rejecting Mr. Obama’s characterization of the United States in his nationally televised address Tuesday night as an “exceptional nation.”
“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation,” Mr. Putin said.
At the Capitol, House Speaker John A. Boehner was less reluctant to characterize his reaction: “Insulted.”
Mr. Boehner declined to say more, saying under the U.S. system the president handles foreign affairs, but he said he remains skeptical of Mr. Putin’s efforts to strike a compromise.