Barack Obama is said to have made a rude joke about his wife Michelle and oral sex at a Beverly Hills fundraiser for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council on Wednesday night.
Talking to nearly 600 supporters at the event, the 50-year-old politician referred to Ellen DeGeneres, the stand-up comedian and television host and a lesbian.
"I want to thank my wonderful friend who accepts a little bit of teasing about Michelle beating her in push-ups, but I think she claims Michelle didn't go all the way down," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the crowd erupted into a "bawdy laughter".
In the pool report of the event, Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News wrote that this was a line that Obama "let hang, naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd".
It remained unclear, however, whether Obama uttered a deliberate double entendre about his wife having oral sex with a lesbian or whether he simply stumbled into using a phrase that was misinterpreted.
The LA Times plumped for the latter interpretation, reporting that "the president seemed briefly caught off-stride when the audience interpreted as off-colour a joke he made about a push-up competition between DeGeneres and his wife, initiated by the talk show host in February".
"Obama kept a straight face. "That's what I heard," he added. "I just want to set the record straight. Michelle outdoes me in push-ups as well. You shouldn't feel bad'." The newspaper said.
Political reporters immediately picked up on the obscene reference.
"I hope @MichelleObama yells at @BarackObama tonight. Or at least withholds pushups," Meredith Shiner, a reporter for Roll Call, tweeted.
The 44th president of the US was very much amongst friends at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel event, part of a two-day fundraising swing through California and Nevada during which he is expected to raise more than 15 million dollars for his re-election bid.