Fareed Zakaria Clarifies 'Advising' Obama (VIDEO) [UPDATE]

05/13/2011 12:42 pm ET | Updated Jul 13, 2011

This story has been updated.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria said on Thursday that he has been having regular discussions with President Obama about national security and foreign policy. He then posted a "clarification" of his statement on Saturday.

Asked by Eliot Spitzer on Thursday's "In The Arena" if Obama has been calling him up lately, Zakaria said, "mostly it's been face-to-face meetings...usually organized by Tom Donilon, the national security adviser."

He said Obama was spending a lot of time "thinking about the issues of the Arab Spring," and added, "it's been a very thoughtful conversation. You know, we'll see where it goes."

Zakaria's admission attracted fast criticism from his frequent antagonist, Glenn Beck, who said that Zakaria could not possibly be a neutral arbiter of the Obama administration's policies while he was advising Obama.

On Saturday, Zakaria posted the following clarification:

The characterization that I have been "advising" President Obama is inaccurate. Over the last few months I've had a couple of conversations with the president, off-the-record. At no point did president President Obama ask me for advice on a specific policy or speech or proposal, nor did I volunteer it. I know that he has had similar meetings with other columnists.

Watch the video from Zakaria on Thursday:

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