Following a translated interview with Erdogan, U.S. TV show PBS NewsHour reported the president had said Trump had “said that he was sorry” over the incident that saw Erdogan’s security detail confront protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in May.
Tuesday’s report led the White House to deny that Trump had made such an apology during a telephone call between the leaders.
In a Twitter post, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said: “President Erdogan didn’t say President Trump ‘apologized’ to him but was ‘saddened by’ what happened. This is the correct translation.”
Following the May 16 confrontation in Washington during Erdogan’s previous visit to the U.S., a grand jury indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security guards.
Erdogan condemned the indictment. “It is clearly a scandalous sign of how justice works in America,” he said earlier this month after the indictment was revealed.
Trump and Erdogan are due to meet in New York on Thursday for head-to-head talks on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.