WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is ratcheting up the pressure on Moammar Gadhafi.
For the first time, the president is urging the Libyan leader to leave power immediately.
The call was contained in a phone conversation between Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The White House says during the call, the president said Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy to rule and "needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now."
The administration upped its pressure a day after it froze all Libyan assets in the U.S. that belong to Gadhafi, his government and four of his children. The U.S. also closed its embassy in Libya and suspended the limited defense trade between the countries.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced further sanctions today, revoking visas for senior Libyan officials and their immediate family members.