Confusion grows over US VP Biden's words to Erdoğan, as White House denies denial
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
White House press secretary Josh Earnest. AP PhotoThe muddle over U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks about Turkey has been further complicated, after a White House spokesman contradicted Biden’s denial that he apologized to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the issue.
Biden denied apologizing to Ankara for his statement about Turkey helping the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other militant groups in Syria on the night of Nov. 3, despite a previous White House statement that claimed the opposite.
The vice president recently confirmed that he spoke on the phone with Erdoğan, who reacted to his remarks furiously, but claimed he never apologized.
Further complicating the debate, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, once again made another puzzling remark, saying a statement from Biden’s office at the time of the conversation certainly indicated an apology.
“I obviously didn’t listen in on the phone call between the vice president and President Erdoğan, but there’s a statement that was put out from the vice president’s office that reflected what I had related as well,” he said.
Earnest, however, defended Biden’s position, saying the vice president was trying to make the point that the message he delivered at Harvard University, specifically to Erdoğan, related to his regret about the way his comments were interpreted.