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Rude outbursts by public figures

Daniel Bukszpan

Public figures say the darnest things

On October 16, 2009, Raj Rajaratnam, a hedge fund manager for the Galleon Group, was arrested by the FBI for insider trading. Rather than cut a plea deal, he pleaded not guilty, and he lost big. On May 11, 2011, he was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy. His attorney, John Dowd, left the courthouse and was His comment was "Get the f**k out of here. OK? That's what I got for CNBC." He also extended a middle finger for good measure. Click ahead to see 10 more examples of people from
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It may have been under his breath, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's "F-bomb" set off an explosion on the Twittersphere. And then there's The Donald.

They're only two recent examples of public figures who have been caught using off-color and offensive language. Click ahead to see more examples.

Updated by Marguerite Ward, CNBC.com
14 Aug. 2015

Russian 'F-bomb'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
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It came during a news conference Wednesday with his Saudi counterpart discussing Syria. The Saudis want the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad—a close ally of Moscow.

Video footage from the conference showed Lavrov waiting as part of the conference was translated into Arabic and then saying quietly: "F***ing morons" in Russian, Reuters reported.


Donald Trump

Donald Trump
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In a tabloidlike opening to the first 2016 GOP debate, Donald Trump dominated headlines for the comments some viewed as misogynistic.

During the debate, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked Trump about comments he made about women, including calling some "fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals" on his Twitter account.

"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her ... whatever," Trump said after the debate was over.

Cue media firestorm. In the days after the comment was made, Trump said, "Who would say that? Do you think I'd make a statement like that? Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about that." He also said that he meant to say that blood was coming out of Kelly's nose or ears, and that he thought Kelly should apologize to him over the question she asked him in the debate.

Read More Trump dumped from conservative event in Atlanta over 'inappropriate' comments

Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Justin Solomon | CNBC

In 2014, then-new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made some controversial comments about the gender pay gap.

Speaking at a conference, he was asked to give his thoughts about what women should do if they are not comfortable asking for a raise.

Nadella answered: "It's not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along."

"And that, I think, might be one of the additional super powers that, quite frankly, women who don't ask for a raise have. Because that's good karma. It'll come back, because somebody is going to know that is the kind of person that I want to trust," he added.

Nadella later apologized, saying: "I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. ... if you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask."

Tim Armstrong, AOL

Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL
Melody Hahm | CNBC

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was thrown in the limelight in 2014 when he made controversial comments about the cost of employee benefits.

"We had two AOLers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid $1 million each to make sure those babies were OK in general," he said.

The comment came after Armstrong told employees that the company would be delaying contributions to retirement accounts.

two days later. "We heard you on this topic," Armstrong said in a letter to employees.

Jim Hagedorn, Scotts Miracle-Gro

James Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.
Jay Mallin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Scotts Miracle-Gro Chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn sparked controversy in 2013, apparently for using salty language.

"While I have a tendency to use colorful language, I recognize my comments in this case were inappropriate and I apologize," Hagedorn said in a statement afterward. The details of what Hagedorn specifically said to prompt the apology were not disclosed, but the executive, who took over Micracle-Gro from his father, has long had a reputation for off-color phrases.

In an article in The Wall Street Journal about the merger between Miracle-Gro and lawn-care company Scotts, Hagedorn was quoted as saying: "The idea to merge with Scotts dawned on him after he looked at the company's market value in 1995, he said, so he called his father's tax lawyer to vet the idea. "I said, 'Bob, I got this f— crazy idea. Do you think it'd be f— possible to take over Scotts?' " he recalls, sitting in the Port Washington, New York, office that his father once occupied."

Hagedorn later issued an apology. "While I have a tendency to use colorful language, I recognize my comments in this case were inappropriate and I apologize," he said. "I, along with the rest of our board members, consider the matter resolved and I have made a personal commitment to prevent a future recurrence."

Todd Atkin

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)
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Former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin got a lot of attention for his comments on "legitimate rape" when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

When asked about abortion in the case of rape, Atkin said, "It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down." Akin did not win the Senate election.

Akin later discussed his comment on MSNBC. "Legitimate rape is a law-enforcement term. And it's abbreviation for legitimate case of rape," he said. "If I had been choosing my words better, I should have said legitimate case of rape. And I have acknowledged that it is a poor choice of words."

"This is something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes," he added.

Carol Bartz, Yahoo

Carol Bartz became CEO of Yahoo in January 2009, and immediately made a name for herself with her potty mouth. One of the first things she did when she took over was let everyone on the staff know that if anyone leaked company secrets, she would “drop-kick” them “to f---ing Mars.”

With her reputation preceding her, she was interviewed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. In what was possibly an attempt to ingratiate himself to her, he started off the interview by asking her “How the f--- are you?” Unimpressed, Bartz pressed on with the interview, but became increasingly annoyed by his criticisms of the company. She shut him down by telling him that he was “involved in a very tiny company" and ended the interview by telling him to “f--- off.”

When news of the outburst got out, it actually won Bartz respect. Tech blogger Guy Kawasaki, upon hearing of the exchange, tweeted, "I respect Carol Bartz even more now."

Jeff Skilling, Enron

Jeff Skilling is the former president of Enron, a Houston energy corporation that made headlines in 2001 with its financial collapse. Both Skilling and Chairman Kenneth Lay had taken part in an accounting scandal that culminated in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy up to that time. In April 2001, Skilling participated in a conference call with stock analysts and members of the press. One of the parties on the call was Richard Grubman, managing director of Highfields Capital Management. He had as
Photo: Getty Images

Jeff Skilling is the former president of Enron, a Houston energy corporation that made headlines in 2001 with its financial collapse. Both Skilling and Chairman Kenneth Lay had taken part in an accounting scandal that culminated in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy up to that time.

In April 2001, Skilling participated in a conference call with stock analysts and members of the media. One of the parties on the call was Richard Grubman, managing director of Highfields Capital Management. He had asked to see Enron’s balance sheet and was told that it wouldn’t be available until an unspecified “later.” Grubman responded: "You're the only financial institution that can't come up with balance sheet or cash-flow statement after earnings." Skilling responded with a diplomatic, "Well, thank you very much, we appreciate that. A--hole."

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft

Since 2000, Steve Ballmer has been the CEO of Microsoft, a position that has exploded his personal wealth and landed him on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires. He is also known for his enthusiastic behavior, much of which has made him Most of this behavior can be dismissed as good-natured enthusiasm, but it turned ugly when Google hired former Microsoft engineer Mark Lucovsky. In a sworn declaration, Lucovsky stated that when Ballmer learned that he was leaving for Google, he threw a chair a
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When Steve Ballmer found out that Google had hired away engineer Mark Lucovsky in 2004, the then-CEO of Microsoft had a meltdown, according to court papers.

In a sworn declaration, Lucovsky said Ballmer threw a chair across his office and began making statements about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The declaration quoteed Ballmer as saying, "I'm going to f---ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f--ing kill Google."

Ballmer later called Lucovsky's account a "gross exaggeration."

Raj Rajaratnam, Galleon

Among all the evidence used to convict Raj Rajaratnam of insider trading, none was more damning than the audiotapes of his phone calls. One such call took place between him and his brother, Regnan, on March 25, 2008, after Raj had bought nearly 126,000 shares of Clearwire Corp. in advance of a venture with Sprint Nextel. The Wall Street Journal reported the possibility of the venture, making it more difficult for Raj to do any trading in advance of the announcement. On the tapes, His lawyer, Jo
Photo: CNBC || Getty Images

On Oct. 16, 2009, Raj Rajaratnam, a hedge fund manager for the Galleon Group, was arrested by the FBI for insider trading. Rather than cut a plea deal, he pleaded not guilty, and he lost big.

On May 11, 2011, he was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy. His attorney, John Dowd, left the courthouse and was approached by a CNBC television camera. His comment was "Get the f--- out of here. OK? That's what I got for CNBC." He also extended a middle finger for good measure. (Inset left.)

Among all the evidence used to convict Rajaratnam of insider trading, none was more damning than the audiotapes of his phone calls. One such call took place between him and his brother, Regnan, on March 25, 2008, after Raj bought nearly 126,000 shares of Clearwire Corp. in advance of a venture with Sprint Nextel.

The Wall Street Journal reported the possibility of the venture, making it more difficult for Raj to do any trading in advance of the announcement. On the tapes, Regnan assessed their situation simply and clearly: "We're f---ed, man."