No surprise given how strong a Morsi supporter Obama has been.
(CNN) — The Obama administration is urging Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy to call early elections and has warned the Egyptian military that it risks losing U.S. aid if it carries out a military coup amid the political crisis, senior administration officials tell CNN.
At the same time, the officials stopped short of saying Morsy should step down immediately.
“We are saying to him, ‘Figure out a way to go for new elections,'” one senior official said. “That may be the only way that this confrontation can be resolved.”
The White House disputed the characterization the administration was “urging” Morsy to call early elections.
National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said, “It is not accurate that the United States is ‘urging’ President Morsy to call early elections. President Obama has encouraged President Morsy to take steps to show that he is responsive to the concerns of the Egyptian people and underscored that the current crisis can only be resolved through a political process. As the President has made clear since the revolution, only Egyptians can make the decisions that will determine their future.”
In multiple conversations with Morsy and his aides, the pther officials said, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and other senior State Department officials have explained that the demands the Egyptian people are making on the street are similar to the ones both Washington and allies have been urging Egypt to take for weeks.
“We are trying to get President Morsy to appoint a new prime minister, a new Cabinet, and get rid of the prosecutor general,” one senior official said. “This is the kind of outreach he needs to do to demonstrate to the opposition that he is governing all Egyptians. So far he hasn’t done anything to show that.”
President Barack Obama reiterated that Morsy must take action in his phone call to the Egyptian leader on Monday, the officials said.
Although the officials said nothing in the Egyptian constitution gives Morsy the authority to call for new elections, they say it may be the only way to end the political crisis that has engulfed Egypt.