GCHQ dismisses Trump Tower wiretapping claims as nonsense


The White House has raised the claim Barack Obama used Britain's spy agency to wiretap Donald Trump, despite a blanket denial by United Kingdom officials and Obama.

The accusation was made by USA media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano - then repeated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Trump offered no evidence, and an Obama spokesman has said the claim is "simply false".

A Republican lawmaker called on President Donald Trump Friday to either provide evidence or apologize to former President Barack Obama for his so-far unverified claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 election.

The extraordinary claims came during a press conference where Mr Spicer sought to defend President Trump's unproven assertions that his predecssor put Trump Tower under clandestine surveillance.

"Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wire tapping" against the then-president elect are nonsense", the agency said. Obama, he claimed, "went outside the chain of command" so there were "no American fingerprints on this".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer even suggested this week that Trump may have been under surveillance as part of information that was incidentally collected during an investigation focused elsewhere.

Mr Trump tried to distance himself from the report on Friday.

A White House official confirmed that Darroch and Lyall expressed their concerns to both Sean Spicer and Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, spoke with knowledge of the classified report's contents.

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump said on Friday, motioning to Merkel, a reference to how the U.S. National Security Agency had tapped the German Chancellor's phone in the past.

The GCHQ issued an angry denial of that "utterly ridiculous" allegation, and the US government reportedly apologized to British Prime Minister Theresa May for Spicer repeating the claim.

The wiretapping controversy started earlier this month when Trump tweeted his allegations.

He said the President "stands by" his claim, but no evidence has yet been produced to back it up.

Furthermore, he also claimed that GCHQ is allowed to track their subjects' movements with great accuracy.

Prior to receiving the classified documents from the DOJ, both Nunes and Schiff had already stated flatly that Trump Tower was clearly not wiretapped. "This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" the president posted once again, stressing his claims.

The official said there was "at least two calls" from British officials on Thursday and that the British ambassador to the USA called Spicer to discuss the comment.



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