Donald Trump has insisted America wants “nothing to do with” the NHS amid claims that the health service could be used as a bargaining chip in post-Brexit trade talks.
The US president, speaking in London at the start of the Nato summit, claimed he would “stay out” of the General Election campaign because he does not want to “complicate it”.
But Mr Trump went on to describe Boris Johnson as “very capable” and said he would be meeting the Prime Minister during the course of his visit to the UK.
In a breakfast meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the US ambassador’s residence in London, Mr Trump was asked if the NHS should be on the table in trade talks.
He replied: “No, not at all, I have nothing to do with it. Never even thought about it, honestly.”
The president added: “I don’t even know where that rumour started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it and we wouldn’t want to if you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn published a letter to Mr Trump on Monday night in which he asked for “reassurances” that US negotiators would not look to push up UK medicine prices by seeking access to the NHS for major American pharmaceutical companies.
His party has repeatedly claimed that the health service is “on the table” in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Mr Trump said he could “work with anybody” when asked whether he could work with Mr Corbyn as prime minister, though earlier said he thought Mr Johnson would do a “good job”.
Leaders including Mr Trump and Mr Corbyn will gather for a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening.