Following allegations by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer of its role in the wiretapping of US President Donald Trump during the 2016 US elections, British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) on Thursday have denied that it had helped former president Barack Obama “spy” on Trump, the Guardian reported.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president-elect are nonsense,” the Guardian quoted a GCHQ spokesperson as saying. The spokesperson reportedly termed the allegations “utterly ridiculous” and “be ignored”.
The Guardian reported that Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano had claimed that “three intelligence sources confirmed to him” that the Obama administration used GCHQ to spy on Trump. According to the Guardian, Napolitan claimed that it was done so that there would be “no American fingerprints on this”.
And in an effort to support Trump’s allegations, Sean Spicer had reportedly quoted Napolitano’s allegation.
In March, Donald Trump, through a series of tweets, accused Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones, though US officials claimed that the allegations were baseless.
On March 4, the US President had tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
The Guardian also reported that documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that British officials allowed their US counterparts to store and analyse British citizens’ internet and email records.
The leader of Liberal Democrats Tim Farron said that Trump was “compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment”, the Guardian reported.