(CNBC) — SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ, France — Hours after President Donald Trump said Sunday he had “second thoughts” about escalating the trade war with China, the White House sought to explain his remark because it was “greatly misinterpreted.”

“This morning in the bilat with the U.K., the president was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China’. His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham wrote in a statement.

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