United Kingdom raps White House over Trump spy claims

United Kingdom raps White House over Trump spy claims

The Senate Intelligence Committee had said on Thursday it had found no evidence Trump Tower had been under surveillance in 2016, contrary to Trump's previous claims.

Leaders of both the House and Senate intelligence committees, including from Trump's Republican party, have said they have found no evidence to substantiate Trump's claims that Obama ordered USA agencies to spy on Trump or his entourage.

The White House wouldn't confirm whether the British government asked for Spicer to retract his remarks, or whether it was under consideration.

Ranking Democrat of the House committee Adam Schiff told CNN that he expects FBI Director James Comey to also say that he's seen no evidence of Trump's claim when the director testifies before his committee Monday.

He said: "We have made clear to the (US) administration that these claims are ridiculous and that they should be ignored and we have received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated".

Spicer had read out allegations that the United Kingdom intelligence agency GCHQ had spied on Trump.

The claim was subsequently repeated during Thursday's briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. "He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the Central Intelligence Agency. he used GCHQ, '" Spicer had said.

Nearly immediately following the briefing, GCHQ issued a rare public statement, saying, "recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wiretapping" against the then president-elect are nonsense".

Many experts have said, however, that Trump could find out immediately if a warrant had been obtained by the Obama administration to surveil Trump Tower.

In an attempt to bolster his case, the spokesman spent almost 10 minutes angrily reading from news reports that he said pointed to possible evidence of surveillance.

Andrew Napolitano, the commentator, said on air that Obama used Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, the signals agency known as the GCHQ, to spy on Trump.

Mr Trump has not substantiated the allegation that he was bugged.

The Associated Press, citing a Western diplomat, reported that Spicer had been made aware two days prior to Thursday's White House press briefing that the Napolitano report was untrue.

Trump sparked a furore with the March 4 tweets that accused Obama of ordering a wiretap on the NY skyscraper where he and his family live and run his real estate empire. He said reporters had not focused enough on comments from officials denying evidence of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. The senators statement also addresses Trump's more recent statement that he was not merely speaking about wiretapping specifically. "And so you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox", he said.

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