House intel chairman: No evidence of wiretapping claim

A House Republican says President Donald Trump should apologize to Barack Obama for his unproven claim that his Democratic predecessor wiretapped his NY skyscraper.

On Thursday, spokesman Sean Spicer defended the president's comments by repeating a Fox News analyst's report that GCHQ, the British electronic intelligence agency, had helped Obama wiretap Trump.

Spicer did not seem particularly apologetic when asked about his claim before Trump's Friday press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn't make an opinion on it", Trump said.

"If he didn't do it, we shouldn't be reckless in accusations that he did", Cole said adding, "I've seen no indication that that's true, it's not a charge I would have ever made".

"Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop", anchor Shepard Smith said, reading an official statement on-air.

Separately, in London, a United Kingdom government spokesman said: "Our Ambassador has been in touch with Sean Spicer and others at the White House".

"We've made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and they should be ignored and we've received assurances that these allegations will not be repeated", the spokesman told reporters.

"If we submitted the Democrats' plan, drawn everything flawless for the Democrats, we wouldn't get one vote from the Democrats", Trump said.

The British government said the White House has promised it won't repeat the allegation. At a briefing Thursday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, read from a sheaf of news clippings that he suggested bolstered the president's claim.

GCHQ took the unusual step of releasing a statement calling the claims "nonsense".

On the "Fox & Friends" program, Napolitano, a political commentator and former New Jersey judge, said that rather than ordering USA agencies to spy on Trump, Obama had obtained transcripts of Trump's conversations from GCHQ so there were "no American fingerprints" on it.

"I think the president's going to be marked and judged by his record", he said.

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

Fox News said it could not confirm the allegations.

Trump originally made the allegations against former President Obama on March 4 in a series of early morning tweets. Asked if the conversations between the USA and British officials were heated, the British government official pointed to the rarity of a GCHQ public statement on the matter, saying, "you can draw your conclusions from there".

Trump's allegations against President Barack Obama have sparked a reactions ranging from bafflement to anger in Washington, with both Democrats and Republican lawmakers saying they have no evidence to support his claim. The clear verdict from the committee leaders comes a day after two heads of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said they had received no information to back the Trump tweets.

"Yes, he said he will have an answer for us by the hearing" Wednesday, the Rhode Island Democrat told CNN Tuesday.

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