White House won't repeat claims that UK helped spy on US President Donald Trump

March 17, 2017 10:30 pm

President accused former President Barack Obama of intercepting his communications at his offices in Trump Tower in New York City during the presidential election.

US President Donald Trump will not repeat claims that Britain’s spy agency helped former President Barack Obama wiretap Trump Tower, reports say. 
Earlier this month, Trump accused his predecessor of intercepting his communications at his offices in Trump Tower in New York City just before the November presidential election.
On Thursday, the White House accused Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency of tapping Trump Tower for Obama during the election campaign.
According to reports on Friday, Britain has been assured the Trump administration will not discuss the issue again, and that it has also apologized to British authorities.
Meanwhile, the British intelligence agency called the claims “utterly ridiculous” that it spied on Trump.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They … should be ignored,” the agency said in a rare public statement on Friday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said the accusations should be ignored.
“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.

British Prime Minister Theresa May gestures as she delivers her address to delegates at the Conservative Party Spring Conference in Cardiff, south Wales, on March 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

“We have a close special relationship with the White House and that allows us to raise concerns as and when they arise as was true in this case.”
Last week, Republican Senator John McCain denounced Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, saying either he has to retract it or provide evidence of the allegation.
The senator added that Trump could call the CIA chief and the director of national intelligence for proof. “All he has to do is pick up the phone, call the director of the CIA, director of national intelligence and say, ‘OK, what happened?'”
Experts say electronic surveillance of a US citizen by American intelligence agencies would require a warrant approved by a FISA court judge.  Presidents do not have the authority to order such wiretaps and would not even be aware of them as a routine matter.
If the president were involved in the process, it would be “scandalous and unheard of,” said Ron Hosko, a former assistant FBI director. Hosko called the allegations “unprecedented” and “unlikely to have occurred in the very broad way” that Trump described.
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