White House apologized for repeating British wiretap claim
Warren Dawson | March 19, 2017, 0:58
Britain's electronic surveillance agency GCHQ has dismissed as "nonsense" claims that it helped former US President Barack Obama spy on Donald Trump.
In yet another extraordinary press conference, Spicer read out articles written by the New York Times, the Guardian and others, and included the false claim made by United States television analyst Andrew Napolitano, who alleged Government Communications Headquarters - or GCHQ - involvement in the spying.
Mr Spicer then went on to repeat claims of British intelligence involvement first made on Fox News earlier this week by Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge and legal expert for the network. Senior officials from GCHQ are also expected to make representations to its American counterpart, the NSA, about their concern over such allegations being made, British media reported.
"A president only has so much political capital to expend and so much moral authority as well, and so any time your credibility takes a hit, I think in many ways it weakens the officeholder", Dent said.
Spicer was very apologetic when confronted by Darroch at a White House dinner Thursday, the Western diplomat said.
Another administration official said before the meeting that the President hoped to get Merkel's advice for dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who according to USA intelligence ordered cyber-meddling in last year's presidential election and tried to help Trump. "I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower".
Mr Trump has not substantiated the allegation that he was bugged. Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, said Friday that Trump had not proved his case and should apologize to Obama.
White House representative Sean Spicer has defended Mr Trump's allegations, mentioning media reports that have discussed intelligence collection on possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the campaign.
In a news conference notable for tense body language between Trump and Merkel, the President appeared irritated by the question from a German reporter about the unverified Fox News report.
Trump originally made the allegations against Obama on March 4 in a series of early morning tweets.
Mr Spicer claimed Mr Obama was "able to get transcripts of conversations involving President-elect Trump".
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Devin Nunes, said in a statement late on Friday that the Justice Department had "fully complied" with the panel's request.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on March 30.
Napolitano said that GCHQ had assisted the US National Security Agency (NSA) is the wiretap and that it had been done on the orders of the Obama administration.