Trump staff will 'not repeat' wiretapping claims as UK's GCHQ denies fault

"It has really implications for our foreign policy".

Trump also said he told Merkel that he has "strong support" for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but that allies "must pay what they owe".

Leaders from the House and Senate Intelligence Committees asked the Justice Department for evidence after Trump called for a congressional inquiry into his as-yet-unproven wiretapping claims.

"It's not just about this allegation that President Trump has made".

Political reporters and analysts were aghast that the White House would not only stand by the wiretapping conspiracy theory, but also drag Germany into a weird spat with the United States's closest ally just to dodge responsibility for its own baseless claims.

But later, sitting side-by-side in the Oval Office, her suggestion of another handshake went unheard or ignored by Mr. Trump - an awkward moment in what are usually highly scripted occasions.

"Last, on Fox News on March 14th, Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement", Spicer said during the daily White House briefing.

"He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the Central Intelligence Agency, he didn't use the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he didn't use the Department of Justice", Napolitano said, adding that Obama used the GCHQ. He used GCHQ. What is that?

British and American intelligence agencies co-operate closely.

"Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wiretapping" against the then president-elect are nonsense", GCHQ said in a rare statement.

The department's response comes with FBI Director James Comey set to testify publicly Monday for the first time about Russia's meddling in the USA presidential election and the web of conspiracies - or conspiracy theories - entangling Trump and his associates. The aide said Spicer is wrong. But Spicer subsequently denied that such an apology took place, saying the White House had only been referring to reports "in the public domain" and saying "I don't think we regret anything". We're not casting judgment on that. Top Intelligence Committee lawmakers in both parties and both chambers have said they've seen no evidence Mr. Trump was surveilled by the government during the campaign.

The gaffe-prone Foreign Secretary will travel to Washington this week to patch up the relationship between the United Kingdom and the US. Along with their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, they are members of the Five Eyes, which all work together on intelligence.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May told The Independent that the White House would not float the claims again.

Downing Street said it had secured an assurance that the allegation would not be repeated.

  • Julie Sanders