US judge forwarded racist Obama e-mail
Helena - A US judge has apologised for forwarding an e-mail to friends that contained a joke involving bestiality and President Barack Obama's mother, but he said the incident was related to his dislike of the president, not from racism.
Judge Richard Cebull forwarded the e-mail from his chambers in Montana to six people on February 20, The Great Falls Tribune newspaper reported.
Cebull told the newspaper on Wednesday that his brother sent him the e-mail, which he forwarded to "old buddies" and acquaintances.
He prefaced the e-mail with the message: "Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching."
The judge apologised and acknowledged that the content of the e-mail was racist but said he does not consider himself racist, the newspaper reported. He told the Billings Gazette that he did not write the preface to the message.
"The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan," Cebull told the newspaper. "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama."
Cebull did not return calls from The Associated Press.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said during a press briefing on Thursday that he did not know whether Obama was aware of the e-mail. Carney declined further comment.
A recipient of the e-mail forwarded it to another person, who then forwarded it until it eventually reached the inbox of a Great Falls Tribune reporter. Cebull said he was surprised the people he sent the e-mail to would pass it along with his name still on it.
"This is a private thing that was, to say the least, very poor judgment on my part," Cebull said.