White House denies apologising to British government over spying claims

As two United States government officials told CNN that a classified Justice Department report to Congress fails to confirm President Donald Trump's claim of wiretapping by former President Barack Obama, a Republican congressman had one suggestion for Trump: Apologize.

Trump's press secretary repeated the claim on Thursday - originally made by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano - that Obama enlisted in the GCHQ to spy on Trump Tower during the election. Nunes said. "If so, clearly the president was wrong".

The accusations will not be repeated, a White House official also told the British government, The Telegraph reports.

James Slack, May's spokesman, said Friday that the White House has promised not to repeat the line. He added that allegations that British intelligence had aided Obama in an off-the-books espionage effort were "utterly ridiculous and should be ignored".

The unit, known as the GCHQ, is the British equivalent of the National Security Agency and usually remains tight-lipped on allegations related to intelligence matters.

"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command", the press secretary said.

GCHQ said the claim was "nonsense" and should be ignored. The agency rarely comments on specific operations, and nearly never in such blunt terms. Members of the pact are forbidden from utilizing the intelligence capabilities of another member in order to spy on their own citizens, a point that the Prime Minister's spokesperson reiterated.

"I see no indication that that's true", Cole told reporters of Trump's claim. "It's a situation that simply wouldn't arise".

Mr Spicer said Mr Trump maintained his claims.

The top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence panels have said there is no evidence that Trump or aides were under surveillance.

Instead of evidence, all we've had is a clown show.

To be clear, when Trump tweeted on March 4 he accused former President Barack Obama of having his "wires tapped" at Trump Tower. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"

Reuters reported earlier this week that an unidentified British security official had denied the allegations about Trump. Once that approach grew thin, Trump's relationship to birtherism devolved into a constant cliffhanger, which is precisely where things stand now with the wiretapping claims.

On Thursday, Schiff launched a new attack against Trump, accusing the president of revealing classified information about the Central Intelligence Agency during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

  • Carolyn Briggs