US President Joe Biden has responded to a question about inflation by calling a Fox News reporter a vulgarity.
The incident occurred in the East Room of the White House for a meeting of his Competition Council, which is focused on changing regulations and enforcing laws to help consumers deal with high prices, on Tuesday (Australian time).
It came after reporters in the room began shouting questions after Mr Biden’s initial remarks.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Mr Biden about inflation, which is at a nearly 40-year high in the US and has hurt the President’s public approval.
Doocy’s network has been relentlessly critical of Mr Biden.
“Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocy called out.
Mr Biden responded with sarcasm.
“It’s a great asset – more inflation,” he said.
Then he shook his head and added, “What a stupid son of a b—h.”
The President’s comments were captured on video and by the microphone in front of him.
In a subsequent appearance on his network, Doocy laughed off the insult.
“Nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it’s not true,” he joked.
Later, Doocy said Mr Biden had called him about an hour after the hot-mic moment.
“He called my cellphone, and he said, ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,” Doocy told Fox News colleague and prime-time host Sean Hannity in comments reported in the US media.
“We went back and forth, and we were talking about just kind of moving forward.”
Mr Doocy said he told Mr Biden he would always “try and ask something different than what everybody else is asking”, to which he said Mr Biden replied, “You’ve got to.”
Hannity asked if Mr Biden had apologised, to which Doocy said “he cleared the air and I appreciate it”, according to a Fox News report.
“We had a nice call,” Doocy said.
“That’s not an answer,” Hannity said. “That doesn’t sound like an apology.”
Doocy said he appreciated the call nonetheless.
“The world is on the brink of, like, World War III right now with all of this stuff going on. I appreciate that the President took a couple of minutes out this evening while he was still at this desk to give me a call and clear the air,” he said.
“I don’t need anybody to apologise to me. He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.