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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “jumped the gun” when he decided to dismiss employee Shirley Sherrod from her job at the department amid accusations of racism.

Obama tells ABC News in an interview that Vilsack acted in part because the current media climate requires everyone to scramble when something goes up on YouTube or a blog.

Vilsack acted after portions of a speech Sherrod had given were posted on a conservative website. The administration changed course and apologized after the full speech was made available and told a different story.

Obama personally apologized to Sherrod on Thursday and appealed to her to return to work at the department.

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White House Asks Vilsack To Reconsider Sherrod Firing

Vilsack Offers Sherrod New Position