Joe Biden has reportedly apologized to Muslim-American leaders in private for suggesting in a statement that the death toll from Israeli attacks on Hamas in the Gaza Strip was less than the number of Hamas’s casualties reported by the group.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Biden made the comments during a closed-door meeting with Muslim-American leaders earlier this week at the White House.
According to the report, Biden told the leaders at the meeting that he was deeply sorry for his comments and that he regretted any harm that they may have caused them or their communities.
Biden had made the comments during a press conference on Aug. 11, when he said that the “net result” of the conflict was “not a great deal different than the number of civilian casualties reported by Hamas.”
The statement was criticized by some prominent Muslim-American organizations, who said it minimized the suffering of the people of Gaza and painted an inaccurate picture of the conflict.
In response to the criticism, Biden clarified his remarks in a follow-up statement on Aug. 12, saying that he “misspoke” and that he was “appalled by the magnitude of civilian casualties in Gaza.”