White House: We're Cool With Larry Wilmore's N-Word

Major Garrett, Michelle Obama, Larry Wilmore
Larry Wilmore at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday in Washington, D.C.Susan Walsh / AP

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By Alex Johnson

President Barack Obama wasn't offended by comedian Larry Wilmore's use of the N-word at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, the White House said Monday.

In fact, the president appreciated it.

Wilmore, host of Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show," used the word as an expression of endearment in marveling that he was living in a time when the United States has a black president.

But, by speaking the word itself, Wilmore divided commentators across racial lines Saturday night.

Related: Mixed Reaction as Larry Wilmore Drops N-Bomb at #WHCD

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that he'd spoken to Obama about the remark ahead of Monday's daily briefing for reporters and that the president "said that he appreciated the spirit of the sentiments that Mr. Wilmore expressed."

"Any reading of his comments made clear that he was not using the president as a butt of a joke." Earnest said.

"I take Mr. Wilmore at this words that he found that to be a powerful transformation just in his lifetime and something he seemed to be pretty obviously proud of."