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The former Agriculture Department employee at the center of a political firestorm said Friday that President Barack Obama didn’t literally say he was “sorry” when they spoke Thursday, but “by simply calling me,” she believed he was apologizing.

Shirley Sherrod — forced to resign from her job based on incomplete and misleading reports about a speech she gave in March — also told CNN’s “American Morning” that the department official who asked for her resignation was only a “messenger.”

Sherrod said the White House had been trying to reach her since Wednesday night.

“My phone was full, couldn’t take any more messages. Finally, I was on the way to the airport in an attempt to get home when I checked my messages and had received one from the White House saying the president was trying to get in touch with me and give them a call,” she said. “I did that and I had the conversation with him and, you know, I feel good about that.”

Asked whether she was able to enlighten him about her work, she said they didn’t have time to get into that.

“But toward the end of the conversation I told him I’d love to have him come to South Georgia,” she said, saying she would “take him around and show him some things.”

“I could definitely bring the point home,” said Sherrod, who lives in Georgia.

She said he didn’t precisely say he was sorry.

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