Despite official statements from the House and Senate intelligence committees (and Paul Ryan), President Donald Trump just won’t let his unfounded claims of alleged wiretapping in Trump Tower go. His opinion on the matter was on full display during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as was his administration’s determination to back him up. For despite a previous report suggesting the White House had apologized for implicating British intelligence, Sean Spicer told reporters otherwise on Friday.
“I don’t think we regret anything,” Trump’s press secretary told a group of reporters Friday afternoon when asked about the supposed apology. When CNN’s Jim Acosta pushed for details, asking whether or not an apology had been made to British government officials, Spicer denied it. “No,” he said, “we were just passing on news reports.”
His latest remarks on the matter run counter to an earlier CNN report citing an anonymous administration official with knowledge of the alleged apology. It occurred over the course of two phones calls between British officials, Spicer and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who characterized his colleague’s comments as “unintentional.” (Hence Spicer’s constant references to “passing on news reports.”)
Even so, Spicer’s denying an apology ever took place strikes an odd diplomatic chord. It also suggests this wiretapping hullabaloo isn’t going away anytime soon.