Barack Obama thinks Kanye West in a ''talented Jackass''.

The American President - who previously took aim at the 'Gold Digger' rapper for interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 - admits that while he might not like his behaviour, he can't deny his ability.

In an interview with The Atlantic magazine, he said: ''I like Kanye. He's a Chicago guy. Smart. He's very talented.

''He is a jackass, but he's talented.''

Kanye - who is rumoured to be dating reality star Kim Kardashian - later apologised to Taylor, 22, for his outburst using social networking site twitter.

He wrote: ''I'm sorry, Taylor. We're both artists, and the media and managers are trying to get between us. She deserves the apology more than anyone.

''If you Google a**hole my face may very well pop up 2 pages into the search ... There are people who don't dislike me ... they absolutely hate me. People tweeted that they wish I was dead ... No listen. They wanted me to die, people. I carry that.''

Announcing he had written a song for the country singer - which she later declined to use - he added: ''She had nothing to do with my issues with award shows. She had no idea what hit her. She's justa lil girl with dreams like the rest of us.

Beyoncé didn't need that. MTV didn't need that and Taylor and her family friends and fans definitely didn't want or need that. (sic)''