5 Gaffes by World Leaders Caught on Tape

Queen Elizabeth’s unguarded comments this week a reminder of others before her.

ByLouise Dewast
May 11, 2016, 3:36 PM

— -- Footage of Queen Elizabeth’s unguarded comments at a reception in Buckingham Palace Tuesday came to light after another video emerged of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the same event saying Nigeria and Afghanistan were "fantastically corrupt."

"They were very rude to the ambassador,” the queen told a Metropolitan Police officer about the difficulties of organizing the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October.

Palace officials released a statement saying they do not comment on the queen's private conversations, adding that the Chinese state visit was "extremely successful."

Here are five other gaffes by world leaders caught on tape:

Cameron on the Queen

PHOTO: British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, speaks with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP,  at the company's headquarters in New York, Sept. 23, 2014.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, speaks with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, at the company's headquarters in New York, Sept. 23, 2014.
Christopher Goodney/Reuters

British Prime Minister David Cameron David Cameron came under fire in 2014 for jeopardizing the queen’s traditional neutrality by revealing her position on the Scottish referendum in a conversation with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which was picked by a microphone.

“The definition of relief is being the prime minister of the United Kingdom and ringing the queen and saying, ‘It’s all right, it’s OK.’ That was something. She purred down the line,” Cameron said.

He has since apologized.

Obama and Sarkozy on Netanyahu

PHOTO: Barack Obama, left, and Nicolas Sarkozy shake hands as they hold a joint press conference, ahead of the start of the G20 Summit, Nov. 3, 2011, in Cannes, France.
Barack Obama, left, and Nicolas Sarkozy shake hands as they hold a joint press conference, ahead of the start of the G20 Summit, Nov. 3, 2011, in Cannes, France.
Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images

President Obama and his then-French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy came under fire in 2011 after they were overheard talking about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the G20 summit. Sarkozy told Obama: "I can't stand him. He's a liar,” while Obama is reported to have replied, "You're tired of him; what about me? I have to deal with him every day."

Bush and Blair on Foreign Policy

PHOTO: Tony Blair and George W. Bush are seen at the 32nd G8 Summit In St. Petersburg, Russia, July, 16, 2006.
Tony Blair and George W. Bush are seen at the 32nd G8 Summit In St. Petersburg, Russia, July, 16, 2006.
Gilles Bassignac/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

George W. Bush was heard addressing then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a 2006 G8 summit with the greeting, "Yo, Blair, what are you doing?" and beginning a discussion on the Middle East. "What they need to do," he told Blair, "is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s--- and it's all over," the president said.

"Yo, Blair" has reportedly since become a catchphrase in Britain.

Reagan on Foreign Policy

President Reagan reportedly made a joke about national security in 1984 before his regular radio broadcast, saying, ''My fellow Americans. I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever.”

The joke was made in a voice check, The Associated Press reported. The gaffe was not broadcast over the air, but leaked later on.

Abbott on Climate Change

PHOTO: Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Peter Dutton are seen at the Parliament House, Feb. 9, 2015, in Canberra, Australia.
Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Peter Dutton are seen at the Parliament House, Feb. 9, 2015, in Canberra, Australia.
Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Tony Abbott, the then-Australian prime minister, was overheard sharing a joke last year about rising sea levels on Pacific islands with his immigration minister, Peter Dutton. They were discussing refugees’ resettlement in Papua New Guinea but noticed the meeting was running late.

Dutton joked it was running on “Cape York time.” Abbott responded, saying meetings in Port Moresby did not run on schedule, either, before Dutton replied, “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re, you know, about to have water lapping at your door.”

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