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WASHINGTON/PORT FOURCHON, Louisiana (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday slammed the companies involved in a massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill as BP Plc readied a siphoning system to contain a growing environmental disaster.

Obama applied further pressure on the companies involved in the unfolding drama, criticizing them for a "ridiculous spectacle" of publicly trading blame over the accident in his sternest comments yet on the situation.

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