The White House says David Cameron has been "as close a partner" as Barack Obama has had, after the president appeared to criticise the PM.
Mr Cameron had become "distracted" after the 2011 intervention in Libya, Mr Obama told the Atlantic magazine. He also described Libya as "a mess".
But in an email to the BBC, a White House spokesman said the US "deeply" valued the UK's contributions.
Downing Street said Britain was still "working hard" in Libya.
The article, written by Jeffrey Goldberg, is billed as the US president talking through "his hardest decisions about America's role in the world". Read more...
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