Wiretap claim: US says sorry to UK

Mar 18, 2017, 11:09 IST | Agencies

Britain’s spy agency GCHQ had dismissed Trump administration’s claims of helping President Barack Obama wiretap him as ‘nonsense’ and ‘ridiculous’

US President Donald Trump had claimed that his Trump Tower residence in New York was under surveillance authorised by former President Barack Obama. Allegations of Britain’s GCHQ’s
US President Donald Trump had claimed that his Trump Tower residence in New York was under surveillance authorised by former President Barack Obama

London: Britain yesterday dismissed as “ridiculous” Donald Trump’s allegations that it helped Barack Obama wiretap him during the US presidential polls and said it has received “assurances” from the White House that it will not repeat the claims. The White House has also apologised to the UK for the allegations.

Allegations of Britain’s GCHQ’s involvement were initially made by former judge Andrew Napolitano. Pics/Getty, AFP
Allegations of Britain’s GCHQ’s involvement were initially made by former judge Andrew Napolitano. Pics/Getty, AFP

US national security adviser HR McMaster spoke with his British counterpart on Thursday about press secretary Sean Spicer’s comment from the White House podium about a Fox News report that said British intelligence helped wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign, a White House official said Friday.

James Slack, spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We’ve made clear to the (Trump) administration that these claims are ridiculous and they should be ignored and we’ve received assurances they won’t be repeated.” The US President had claimed that his Trump Tower residence in New York was under surveillance authorised by former President Obama and allegations of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) involvement were initially made by former judge Andrew Napolitano.

“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then President-elect are nonsense,” a GCHQ spokesperson said. “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,” the spokesperson said.

US lawmakers tap out of claim
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said that they have found no evidence to substan-tiate Donald Trump’s claim his phones were tapped in 2016 on the orders of Barack Obama. “Based on the information available to us, we see no indicat-ions that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element,” commit-tee’s chair Richard Burr and Democratic member Mark Warner of Virginia, said in a joint statement.

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