The White House says President Barack Obama has conveyed "his regret" to ousted Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod over her ouster in the midst of a racially-tinged firestorm.
It says Obama made the call to Sherrod after she declared publicly that she would like to speak with him.
In a statement, the White House says Obama told her that "this misfortune can present an opportunity for her to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need."
Sherrod was forced to resign by her superiors earlier this week after a conservative blogger posted an edited video of her recalling her reluctance 24 years ago to help a white farmer seeking government assistance. She says the posting took her speech out of context.