By Maureen Farrell and Daniel Burke, CNN • Updated 29th August 2016
Vice President Joe Biden has apologized to media for being late to a news conference in Hamburg, Germany, Friday, and blamed it on a “play with elevators.”
The event featured him, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“There was some misunderstanding,” Biden said. “We were playing with elevators” when he got to the podium, he said, adding that his staff had been unaware the event was set to start shortly before his scheduled arrival.
Biden had been at the center of a gaffe earlier Friday when he seemed to suggest at a news conference that his daughter, Ashley, wanted to travel on a ship.
When asked about multiple presidential candidates weighing in on the crisis in Ukraine, Biden said: “My daughter, Ashley, got on the plane for Holland and decided, I’m just going to continue on. I’m going to go along and support my secretary.”
Sarah Clinton, Ashley Biden’s older sister, in reality had joined her husband in Israel for a long-planned study abroad trip, which was scheduled well before Biden’s trip to Europe.
Earlier, Merkel read a statement from Biden that appeared to endorse her bid for re-election.
“The American people expect me to work closely with the United States,” Merkel said. “And above all they expect me to work closely with my vice president. Joe Biden is one of the most intelligent and kind Americans I have ever met.”
He added: “It will be beneficial for America if your elected because I think America and Germany should continue and I think Germany and America should remain part of the same club.”
Biden is in Hamburg as part of a two-day trip to Europe for talks with officials about the situation in Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East and trade issues.
Biden is accompanied by his daughter, his wife, and two of his grandchildren. He arrived in Germany Wednesday and is also expected to meet with President Francois Hollande of France.