US Agrees to Drop Claim That Britain Helped Spy on Trump

President Donald Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Friday

But Trump himself offered no public apologies and suggested there was nothing wrong with the White House repeating what it had heard.

The statement was strongly endorsed by the chairman of the United Kingdom parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, Dominic Grieve, who said it showed the "strength of feeling" in the agency.

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump quipped during a joint news conference with Merkel.

After being briefed by intelligence officials, the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have said they have seen no indication that Mr Trump's claim is true.

Mr Spicer's intervention came shortly after the US Senate Intelligence Committee said it had seen no evidence to support the US president's claim - made in a series of Twitter posts earlier this month - that Mr Obama had Trump Towers bugged.

Mr Spicer contacted Mr Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to Washington, on Thursday night (US local time) to try to deal with the unusual rupture between the USA and its closest worldwide ally.

"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", May's spokesman told reporters.

"Long-standing agreements between the "Five Eyes" countries means that the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can not ask each other to target each other's citizens".

President Donald Trump stands by his accusation the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 presidential campaign, the White House says, despite three senior lawmakers rejecting the claim.

Trump said that when he wrote "wiretapping", "those words were in quotes".

During a media briefing at the White House on Thursday, Mr Spicer drew reporters' attention to comments made earlier this week on Fox News by former judge Andrew Napolitano in relation to Mr Trump's controversial claim that his NY residence had been bugged.

British spy agency GCHQ has hit back at claims it tapped Donald Trump's phones during the United States presidential campaign.

May's spokesman argued this pact precluded the kind of spying alleged by Napolitano, saying: "I would add as a matter of fact that under the "Five Eyes" intelligence agreement, we can not use each other's capabilities to circumvent the law".

Mr Spicer directly quoted Mr Napolitano as he continued to try and justify the president's explosive accusation that Mr Obama had "wiretapped" Trump Tower during the election.

Mr Obama said through a spokesman it the claims are "simply false". Trump tweeted March 4 while in Mar-a-Lago.

Trump, in an interview Wednesday with Fox News, said he'd learned about the alleged wiretapping from news reports referencing intercepted communications, despite the fact that he and his advisers have publicly denounced stories about government agencies reviewing contacts between Trump associates and Russians.

"I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower", Nunes said. I watched your friend Bret Baier the day previous where he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening, and wiretapping.

He added: "You shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".

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