Latest
Recommended
Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
World | By Ernestine Jimenez

WH: Sharing Baseless Report On British Spying On Trump Wasn't An Endorsement


There's no public evidence of the wiretap.

The information was sent to the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

The Republican Trump, president since January 20, tweeted this month that his Democratic predecessor had wiretapped him during the late stages of the 2016 campaign. "The fact is, within the Five Eyes pact, we can not use each other's capabilities to circumvent our laws", May's spokesman said.

The claims British intelligence services could have been be involved in the already controversial allegations by Trump that he was wiretapped in Trump Towers were first voiced by a Fox news analyst, Andrew Napolitano. Obama, he claimed, "went outside the chain of command" so there were "no American fingerprints on this".

On Thursday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended his boss, citing news stories alleging wiretapping including the Fox News report.

Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch spoke to Mr Spicer after the allegations were described by GCHQ as "utterly ridiculous", in a rare public intervention which was backed by UK Government officials, including Sir Kim and the PM's national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant, in conversations with the USA administration.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman reiterated the GCHQ agency's denial of a report - which had been repeated by the USA president's spokesman on Thursday - and said the claims "should be ignored".

Comparing the alleged action to "McCarthyism", Trump charged in a tweet last weekend that "This is Nixon/Watergate".

The claim is prompting growing bipartisan agreement that there's no evidence to back up the claim and mounting pressure to retract the statement.

The former Deputy Director for Intelligence and Cyber Operations at GCHQ, Brian Lords, dismissed the claims as another example of "fake news". Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, said Friday that Trump had not proved his case and should apologize to Obama.

He said the president stands by his claim.

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

However, the Western diplomat confirmed that Spicer was very apologetic when confronted by Darroch at a White House dinner on Thursday.

Even in the face of flat denials by top officials in the Obama administration, who were in a position to know, Trump has stuck to his incendiary claim that the former president personally ordered a tap on his phones.

Trump's fellow Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers have said they've seen nothing from intelligence agencies to support his claim.

Like this: