No apology to Britain over spying claims

Cheryl Sanders
March 19, 2017

This afternoon the White House assured British Prime Minister Theresa May it would not repeat allegations that Britain's GCHQ spy agency had helped former President Barack Obama eavesdrop on Donald Trump, May's spokesman told the press.

"I read in - I think it was January 20, a New York Times article and they were talking about wiretapping", said Trump.

The White House on Thursday said the statement did not shake their confidence in the accusation.

Even Fox News doesn't want to stand too close to Trump on his Obama wiretapped me conspiracy theory.

"It's a situation that simply wouldn't arise", the spokesman said of the spying claims.

"You shouldn't be talking to me".

In the two weeks since the tweets, the White House has tried to soften the statement, but not disavowed it. "So we'll ask the director to address that very specific allegation".

The apology has come into question however, as Julie Davis, a reporter from the New York Times covering the White House, tweeted, "there was no apology to Brits", and that the press secretary and McMaster "fielded complaints and defended Spicer's mention of wiretapping story".

The GCHQ was quick to call the assertion by Spicer "ridiculous". Obama, he claimed, "went outside the chain of command" so there were "no American fingerprints on this".

The agency, which rarely comments on allegations about intelligence matters, flatly denied the claim, responding with a statement calling the allegations "nonsense".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said that it has been made "clear to the U.S. administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored".

"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016", they said. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said Wednesday that it was possible that Trump aides were surveilled via "incidental" collection.

The claim has led to investigations in Congress and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but so far no one has provided any evidence to substantiate it. "We've received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated", May's spokesman said.

But the issue is unlikely to pass as quickly as some Republicans hope. The Justice Department did not provide details on the extent of the information it provided t.

One key USA senator, Lindsey Graham of SC, said, "I'm going to get to the bottom of this".

Top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committee have all said they have seen no evidence.

Other reports by iNewsToday