From their perspective, what's so wrong with asking for them anyway? Shouldn't Downing Street keep a close eye on the performance of the US president during his first 100 days? It's a strange thing to deny as surely officials must be asking for this sort of material all the time.
More worrying, I suspect, is the speculation about the use to which it might be put.
And does this mean that Brown has ruled out an apology for his role in creating the economic crisis we find ourselves in?