Jones made the comment in February, before he became a member of the administration, Glenn Thrush reports.
Asked at a Berkeley, Calif., forum why Republicans in Congress are blocking Obama administration efforts, Jones replied, "the answer to that is they're a**holes," prompting laughter and applause from the crowd.
Jones added: "…and Barack Obama's not an a**hole. I can be an a**hole. And some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity." (Watch the video.)
Jones apologized for the comment yesterday.
"These comments, made before I joined the administration, were clearly inappropriate and I apologize for the offensive words I chose to use during that speech," he said in a statement. "They do not reflect the views of this administration, which has made every effort to work in a bipartisan fashion, and they do not reflect the experience I have had since I joined the administration."