Biden: I Never Apologized to Erdogan

Contradicting White House statement, Vice President Biden says he never apologized to Turkey's President over comments he made about ISIS.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he never apologized to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite claims by the White House he did, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

In early October, Biden placed phone calls to three U.S. allies as he attempted to smooth over a diplomatic spat sparked by comments he made at Harvard University.

One of those calls was to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had angrily demanded an apology and said Biden "will be history for me" if it turned out he'd really accused Turkey of helping fuel the Islamic State (ISIS) group's growth.

Another phone call was to the United Arab Emirates. In that call, Biden apologized for comments he made suggesting that the United States’ Arab allies armed and funded terrorists in Syria.

On Monday, however, Biden contradicted the White House by insisting that the phone call to Erdogan didn't amount to an apology.

"No, I haven't apologized," Biden said in a CNN interview. "I never apologized to him. I know him well. I've dealt with him. I called him and said, 'Look, what was reported was not accurate to what I said. Here's what I said.'"

Asked about the discrepancy between Biden’s statement and the White House’s, Biden's office wouldn't say Monday whether it stood by its earlier statement that Biden apologized.

Instead, Biden's office said there had been a "genuine misunderstanding" about Biden's speech, repeating its earlier explanation that Biden never intended to imply Turkey had helped ISIS extremists.

The vice president's office also said Biden was still looking forward to meeting with Erdogan this month.

The vice president who has a history of gaffes and unscripted, problem-causing remarks. In September, Biden apologized for using the term “shylocks” to describe unscrupulous bankers who prey on servicemen and servicewomen deployed overseas.