NEW YORK — White House operators today twice hung up on calls from the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the American tourist killed aboard the Achille Lauro, a family spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman told reporters that the operators cut the family off twice after the callers identified themselves.
But Dale Petrovskey, a White House spokesman, said the White House "wouldn't hang up on anybody."
He said operators took a call about 8:45 a.m from someone who asked to speak to a top presidential aide.
The operator was not aware that the caller was a member of the Klinghoffer family, Petrovskey said, and the caller was referred to a State Department task force office.
Another Reagan aide called the incident a "misunderstanding" and said it would "probably be a good idea" for Reagan to call the Klinghoffer family "to straighten this thing out."