President Obama said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn't consider Egypt, whose leaders have been slow to condemn anti-American riots at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, an "ally." But the White House walked the line back the next day, saying that Egypt was an "ally" per its official designation, and that Obama was only speaking colloquially.
"I think folks are reading way too much into this," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said, per Foreign Policy. "‘Ally' is a legal term of art. We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Egypt like we do with our NATO allies. But as the president has said, Egypt is longstanding and close partner of the United States, and we have built on that foundation by supporting Egypt's transition to democracy and working with the new government."