In the annals of context offered allegedly to explain controversial or offensive remarks, this may take the cake:
A congressional delegation led by McCain met with Mohammed Morsi a day after the White House strongly denounced his remarks as “deeply offensive.” Morsi made the comments in a 2010 speech, as a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood before he became president, but they resurfaced recently when aired on an Egyptian TV show.
In the video, Morsi refers to “Zionists” as “bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians” as well as “the descendants of apes and pigs.” He also called U.S. President Barack Obama a liar.
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Morsi told the delegation Wednesday that the remarks were taken out of context, aimed at criticizing Israeli policies, and not Jews. Morsi told them distinction must be made between criticism of what he called the “racist” policies of the Israelis against the Palestinians and insults against the Jewish faith.
Morsi told them the remarks were part of a speech against Israeli aggression in Gaza and “assured them of his respect for monotheistic religions, freedom of belief and the practice of religions.”
They must think we’re really, really stupid, a belief I am sure they come by honestly. For those who would like a quick refresher, let’s go to the tape, courtesy of the invaluable MEMRI and the related background here.