Published: Feb 28, 2011 10:21 PM EST
Updated: Feb 28, 2011 7:33 PM EST

WASHINGTON - The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's assertion that his regime is not using force against its own people is "delusional."

Susan Rice says Gadhafi's comments Monday only underscore how disconnected he is from reality. Gadhafi spoke during an interview with ABC News, and denied that Libya was attacking protesters calling for Gadhafi to step down.

Rice says the U.S. is reaching out to opposition groups in Libya. But she says until the various opposition factions become more organized, it is "premature" to discuss military assistance.

Rice spoke at the White House on Monday following President Barack Obama's meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)