US President-elect Barack Obama called the late President Ronald Reagan’s widow, Nancy Reagan, to apologise for joking that she had held séances in the White House.
At a news conference in Chicago, Mr Obama said he had spoken with all living former presidents as he prepares to take office in January.
Then he smiled and said: “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances.”
The 87-year-old former first lady had consulted with astrologers during her husband’s presidency, but she did not hold conversations with the dead.
Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the President-elect later called Mrs Reagan “to apologise for the careless and offhanded remark”.
She said Mr Obama “expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs Reagan that so many Americans share, and they had a warm conversation”.