(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

U.S. apologizes to United Kingdom for Trump's suggestion the U.K. was asked to wiretap Trump Tower

The U.S. has apologized for its latest effort to justify Trump's wiretapping claims — blaming the U.K.


Matthew Rozsa
March 17, 2017 5:49PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump's claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped by then-President Barack Obama is causing him a lot of headaches — and forcing him to do damage control with one of America's closest allies.

The U.S. has formally apologized to the United Kingdom after anger over White House press secretary Sean Spicer's claim that the British Government Communications Headquarters, known as the GCHQ, had been asked by Obama to spy on Trump while he was still president-elect. GCHQ responded with a scalding statement Wednesday.

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"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 are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored," said GCHQ in an official statement.

The entire incident can stem from a frustration with congressional Republicans, who have refused to back him up on his claims, according to Politico.

The stunning rebukes from senior Republicans are the latest sign that many in the GOP are increasingly frustrated with a president who has made a habit of hurling inflammatory insults on Twitter at his political rivals — or even his reality-television rivals — often without evidence and sometimes based on conspiracy theories. . .

The leaders of the intelligence committees were briefed last week behind closed doors by FBI Director James Comey, who is set to be asked on Monday to comment publicly on Trump’s claim during testimony before the House panel.

 

 

 

When asked on Wednesday if "there was an actual tap of Trump Tower," House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Republican Devin Nunes of California, replied "Are you going to take the tweets literally? If you are, then clearly the president was wrong."

"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," said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., in a joint statement on Thursday with the committee's ranking Democrat, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Sean Spicer Trump Tower United Kingdom

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