About English grammar?
When he was asked.
1, When asked is a reduction of "when he was asked."
it means that he said that thing only in response to a question. It wasn't just something that he up and said for no reason, or because he thought it was important enough to volunteer. when asked=when (someone) asked (him). This is one reason why headlines about politics can be misleading. "Trump says "XXXX"" can be read to mean that he just volunteered the statement because he was thinking about it, and that gives it a much greater importance than if he gave that statement in response to a question. The "when asked" part is important to the context.
It means he only said it because he was asked; it was his answer to the question.
Thank you a lot !!!