Trump offers no apology for claim on British spying

Lawmakers Accuse FBI Of Withholding Information In Trump-Russia Probe

WASHINGTON-Britain on Friday called President Donald Trumps claims that a British spy agency was involved in wiretapping Trump Tower “ridiculous” and said it received assurances from the White House that the claims wouldnt be repeated.

When asked about the Fox News allegations that GCHQ, the United Kingdom government's listening agency, had helped President Obama to spy on him before the U.S. election, Mr Trump said that his spokesman Sean Spicer had only been quoting "a very talented lawyer".

On Thursday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended his boss, citing news stories alleging wiretapping including the Fox News report.

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", Trump said during a joint news conference with Merkel. "It deeply concerns me that the president would make such an accusation without basis".

And a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters the country made it clear to the USA administration that the claims are "ridiculous and should be ignored" and that the United Kingdom received assurances the allegations wouldn't be repeated. "We've made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored", the spokesman said, on the condition of anonymity.

After the news conference Spicer echoed Trump's defiant tone.

That sparked a rebuke from GCHQ and calls from British officials.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Thursday quoted Napolitano's comments about GCHQ during a testy briefing with reporters.

GCHQ took the unusual step of releasing a statement calling the claims "nonsense".

The two cited media reports that said both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department were involved, raising questions about the "content and context of Mr. Flynn's discussions with Russian officials".

On the "Fox & Friends" program, Napolitano, a political commentator and former New Jersey judge, said that rather than ordering US agencies to spy on Trump, Obama had obtained transcripts of Trump's conversations from GCHQ so there were "no American fingerprints" on it.

Trump also was asked by a German reporter whether there were tweets that he regrets, and he responded, "Very seldom".

He said Friday that Washington has assured Britain they will not be repeated. Further, he has said that the "evidence remains the same" and that they do not have any evidence that the tapping did happen. Schiff added that he is very concerned about Trump adviser Roger Stone's admission that he communicated with "Guccifer 2.0", - who was later determined by intelligence to be a Russian hacker or group of hackers. But Trump's fellow Republicans, who control majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, say the probes by congressional committees are sufficient.

Trump originally made the allegations against former President Obama on March 4 in a series of early morning tweets. USA intelligence agencies enjoy a closer collaboration with their British counterparts than any other in the world.

Late on Friday, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said: "Fox News can not confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary".



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