The White House says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has some explaining to do, and is calling his recent comments "troubling."
Just days after hosting President Barack Obama on his surprise trip to Afghanistan, Karzai accused the United States and other Western governments of wanting a "puppet government" in Afghanistan, and orchestrating fraud in the recent Afghan elections.
In an off-camera gaggle with reporters Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the remarks were "cause for real and genuine concern."
"We are seeking clarification" from Karzai, Gibbs said.
"There were allegations of fraud. Allegations were looked into. Ballots for a number of candidates were thrown out. But the Afghans elected President Karzai. That's all been dealt with," and the focus must be on building a credible and stable Afghan government, Gibbs said. "Again, without a doubt these are troubling comments."
A U.N.-backed panel found fraud in last August's Afghan presidential election and invalidated nearly a third of Karzai's votes. Karzai was eventually declared the winner after his closest challenger withdrew from a runoff election.
On his visit to Afghanistan last weekend, the president was clear with Karzai of the "necessary steps" needed to improve governance and root out corruption in order to deal with the huge challenges the country faces, Gibbs said.
Gibbs also made a point to stress the important work American and NATO soldiers are doing to establish security and allow the Afghan government to take hold in places like Marjah in Helmand province.
"Those security gains are only solidified if there is competent governance in those areas once the Taliban is pushed out."
Gibbs said President Karzai's scheduled visit to Washington in May is still scheduled.
Read more about Karzai's comments at CNN's Afghanistan Crossroads blog