The White House on Friday categorically disputed a media report that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had turned down a last-minute invite from U.S. President Joe Biden to meet in Washington, adding that both leaders are planning to meet there next month.
“This report is false. It did not happen — totally made up,” Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, said in a statement.
Watson was responding to a report from German outlet Spiegel, which said Scholz had declined a late-notice invitation from Biden to come to the White House and discuss current tensions at the Ukrainian-Russian border, where Russia has amassed around 100,000 troops and threatened military action if the West does not meet certain security demands.
Watson noted Scholz is scheduled to visit the White House next month: “The German side has proposed dates and we are responding to them. We look forward to welcoming the Chancellor to the United States in February.”
A German government spokesperson declined Friday to comment on the Spiegel report. When asked about a potential visit to Washington in February, the spokesperson said she could only comment on agreed visits, suggesting the discussed trip had not been fully arranged.
Alexander Ward and Nahal Toosi contributed reporting from Washington, D.C.
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