Donald Trump has insisted he wants "nothing to do" with the National Health Service, six months after saying it would be "on the table" during US–UK trade talks.
Speaking following his arrival in London for this week's NATO summit, the president vowed to stay out of the UK's general election campaign but moved to reject claims by the Labour Party that the Conservatives could "sell off" the NHS to the US.
"If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we would want nothing to do with it," Trump said, claiming: "I don't even know where that rumour started."
During a press conference with then prime minister Theresa May in June, Trump had said the NHS would be on the table. "When you're dealing in trade, everything is on the table," he said.
Last week, Labour unveiled a leaked dossier they argued was proof the NHS was up for sale in secret negotiations between the UK and US. The Tories have denied the NHS is on the table in trade talks.
The president's remarks on Tuesday could help prime minister Boris Johnson dispel the claims by Jeremy Corbyn about the Conservatives' plans for the NHS, but Tory strategists will be concerned that they will put the health service at the top of the agenda during the visit.
Elsewhere during a 50-minute press conference, Trump promised "I'll stay out of the election" but immediately appeared to back Johnson, telling reporters: "Boris is very capable and he will do a good job."
Asked about Corbyn's record on anti-Semitism, Trump was also coy, answering: "I know nothing about the gentleman. I know nothing about him." He indicated he could work with the Labour leader if his party won the election on Dec. 12.
Trump was also asked about the allegations against Prince Andrew, which he described as a "tough story". The president is due at Buckingham Palace along with other NATO leaders later on Tuesday.