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The US president was apparently commenting on the hip-hop star's widely criticised rant at the MTV Music Video Awards in New York.
West had grabbed a microphone from 19-year-old country singer Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech on Sunday to declare that Beyonce should have won instead.
"Pres Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential," Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran wrote on Twitter, where he has more than a million followers.
speaking his mind - great job obama- just earned a little more repect from me - kanye west IS a jaskass and a total asshat.