The GCHQ, the U.K.’s intelligence and security organization, said claims it helped former U.S. President Barack Obama wiretap Donald Trump are “nonsense,” the Telegraph reported Friday.
The public comment from a spokesman, an unusual move by the secretive agency, comes in response to claims made by White House spokesman Sean Spicer Thursday that GCHQ spied on Trump Tower ahead of the November U.S. election. The claims were originally made by a media commentator on Fox News.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president elect are nonsense,” the agency said. “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday Downing Street had been assured by Spicer he would not repeat the accusation, according to a BBC report. He added that it had been made clear to U.S. authorities the claims were “ridiculous and should have been ignored.”
Spicer had said: “Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command, he didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice, he used GCHQ.”
The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something this consequential cannot be overstated. And from the PODIUM. https://t.co/lJ1Q1GR3lB
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) March 17, 2017
By: Zoya Sheftalovich