White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Bush told Mahathir his controversial remarks about Jews were "wrong and divisive." The conversation occurred between meetings at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
During a meeting last week of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Malaysia, Mahathir said, among other things: "The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."
Mahathir's remarks drew worldwide condemnation but Malaysia officials later accused Western nations of overreacting to the speech.