Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says he wishes the three imprisoned Al-Jazeera journalists had not been put on trial but rather deported.
Last month, an Egyptian court handed down prison sentences of seven to 10 years for the three, sparking an international outcry.
"The verdict had very negative effects," Sisi was quoted as saying by an Egyptian newspaper on July 7.
Sisi had said he would not interfere in court verdicts in his first reaction to the ruling.
Analysts say his latest comments could mean Sisi might use his presidential power to pardon the journalists.
The three, detained in December, were convicted of aiding "a terrorist group" -- a reference to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood -- by broadcasting lies.
Washington had described the verdict against the reporters as "chilling, draconian sentences" that must be reversed.
Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters