Barack Obama praises Caitlyn Jenner's courage, doesn't mind being bested by her on Twitter

A man viewing the July cover of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
A man viewing the July cover of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Barack Obama respects Ms Caitlyn Jenner's courage and does not mind that she bested him on Twitter, the president's spokesman said on Tuesday.

Ms Jenner, a reality television star and Olympic gold medalist, came out as a transgender woman in an April ABC News special. She used male pronouns and the first name Bruce until declaring her preferred name and pronoun in a cover story in Vanity Fair that was released Monday.

"The president does believe that Caitlyn Jenner has shown tremendous courage as she has undergone this transition in a very public way. And that's worthy of our respect," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. 

The president was not bothered that Ms Jenner's new Twitter account had accumulated one million followers in just over four hours on Monday, faster than the previous record set when Mr Obama opened a new Twitter account last month, Mr Earnest added.

The president "enjoyed holding the distinction while it lasted", Mr Earnest said.

In the ABC interview, Ms Jenner said she was glad Mr Obama had spoken about transgender people in his State of the Union address, but that she was a Republican and had "just never been a big fan" of the president.