WASHINGTON : A Republican staffer issued an apology on Facebook after she criticized President Barack Obama's daughters - Malia and Sasha - for their attire during A ceremony at the White House.

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher and former Republican National Committee media director, called their attires "classless."

“Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events,” Lauten said in a Facebook post. After the comments about Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, sparked social media outrage and accusations of cyber-bullying, Lauten apologized in a follow-up Facebook post, according to The Daily Mail.

“When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,” she wrote.

“After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were."

This is the second time Lauten has stirred controversy online. In August, she posted from Fincher's official account, “God I love this song. And beach music. AND shagging #pandora," according to The Washington Times.

Lauten later deleted the tweet and said she was referring to dancing, not the sexual slang term.

Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian and professor at Princeton University, said the US media had generally respected similar efforts by past presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, to keep their children away from the limelight.  

“But in an era of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, this stuff is just hard to control,” he said. And, given the acrimonious nature of Republican dealings with the Democratic president, Zelizer said, “this is low-hanging fruit.”  

In her post, Lauten also took a dig at the president and first lady, saying “your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”