Jordanian king's controversial interview sparks uproar
March 20, 2013 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
King Abdullah of Jordan and Queen Rania arrive at the Royal Palace on March 12, 2013 in Amman, Jordan.
- King Abdullah is quoted calling the opposition Muslim Brotherhood a "Masonic cult"
- He also reportedly refers to tribal elders as "old dinosaurs"
- The article quickly triggered a flurry of accusations and denials inside Jordan
- U.S. president is due to visit Jordan during his trip to the Middle East
Amman, Jordan (CNN) -- Controversial remarks made by the Jordanian ruling monarch to an American magazine triggered a domestic media uproar and denials from the royal palace, just days before the U.S. president was scheduled to visit Jordan.
In an article published this week in The Atlantic, Jordan's King Abdullah was quoted calling the opposition Muslim Brotherhood a "Masonic cult."
He also referred to tribal elders as "old dinosaurs" and spoke at length about how he could not trust his own intelligence agency.
The profile quickly triggered a flurry of accusations and denials inside Jordan. It was debated on national television news Tuesday night, and denials from the royal court dominated the front pages of Jordanian newspapers.
2012: Jordanians protest fuel prices
2012: Jordanians demand reform
"The article ... contained many fallacies, as statements were taken out of context," an informed royal court source said in a statement quoted by the state-run Petra news agency.
"The content of the article was analysis that reflected the writer's point of view and information attributed to his majesty inaccurately and in a dishonest manner," the statement said.
"The timing of it was really bad," said journalist and analyst Randa Habib, who is also the author of the book "Hussein and Abdullah: Inside the Jordanian Royal Family."
"The group that he called dinosaurs are the tribal elders who are the backbone of the monarchy," she added. "People felt they were insulted."
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday -- his first trip to the country as president and part of his sweep across the Middle East, which will include visits to the West Bank and Jordan.
READ: Obama's Israel trip is about legacy
Unlike Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Syria, the Jordanian monarchy has so far survived the wave of popular discontent widely referred to as the Arab Spring.
But the government has faced significant challenges over the past two years. Jordan, a country long plagued by resource shortages, poverty and high unemployment, is going through a period of economic difficulty.
In an effort to tame its ballooning international debt, the government began stripping fuel subsidies last fall. The move triggered nationwide protests in November.
READ: Opposition source: Syrian rebels get U.S.-organized training in Jordan
Jordanians have also watched with increasing worry as the civil war in neighboring Syria has sent hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming across the border.
More than 450,000 officially registered Syrian refugees are now competing with Jordanians for scarce jobs, real estate and even water.
READ: Prince Charles visits Syrian refugee camp in Jordan
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.