A White House spokesman said on Friday that United States President Barack Obama did not mean to criticise British Prime Minister David Cameron about his policy over Libya.
Obama's comments were reported in an article by The Atlantic magazine entitled "The Obama Doctrine" that covered his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.
Obama told The Atlantic in the piece that some European allies had become passive regarding the chaos in Libya and Cameron had become "distracted by a range of other things."
Earnest said that the US "values deeply the special relationship" with the United Kingdom and shares responsibility to deal with the chaos in Libya.
After Libya’s 2011 uprising, the country faced a power vacuum and is today threatened by DAESH terrorists.
"When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong," Obama said, "There’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up," he said to the magazine.
In the same article Obama stressed that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy failed to secure a second term, saying "Sarkozy wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defenses and essentially set up the entire infrastructure" for the intervention.
Obama also spoke about the rival factions in Libya. "The degree of tribal division in Libya was greater than our analysts had expected. And our ability to have any kind of structure there that we could interact with and start training and start providing resources broke down very quickly."