'It was a mistake not to intervene' - Juncker's regret over his silence before UK referendum
The European Union was wrong to stay silent in 2016 during the campaign ahead of the British referendum on membership in the bloc because it should have corrected "lies" spread by the Leave side, the head of the European Commission said.
"It was a mistake not to intervene and not to interfere because we would have been the only ones to destroy the lies which were circulated," Jean-Claude Juncker said.
"I was wrong to be silent at an important moment," he said, adding the bloc's top institutions were following the advice of Britain's former prime minister David Cameron, who warned against meddling in the UK's internal affairs.
Mr Juncker also said it was "totally unacceptable" to link EU Council President Donald Tusk with tyrants Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, as has been done by Polish state TV.
Mr Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and an arch-rival of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, gave a speech in Warsaw last week offering a stinging critique of the government.
He told the ruling eurosceptics to stop flouting the rule of law and his country's constitution amid speculation he was eyeing a return to Polish politics when his EU term ends in November.
Poland's state broadcaster - on a tight leash since PiS came to power in 2015 - reacted with a clip seeking to discredit Mr Tusk as a politician who pursues German rather than Polish national interests.
Next to Mr Tusk's, the clip included pictures of Stalin and Hitler, whose Soviet Union and Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939.