White House forced to apologize for blaming Britain for spying on Trump

Mar 19, 2017, 00:53

The diplomat and White House official both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The leaders of both the House and Senate intelligence committees said earlier this week they hadn't seen any evidence to support Trump's claims.

Trump on Friday repeated his claim against Obama, rejecting rising calls from Republicans and Democrats to withdraw the charge and apologize.

President Trump recently accused former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday flatly refuted President Trump's claims that his NY offices were wiretapped by the Obama administration in advance of the November election. "We've received assurances these allegations won't be repeated". Since then, Trump has said he was speaking more generally about possible surveillance methods besides wiretaps.

Trump's aides had earlier attempted to quell British anger over the claims, based on a Fox News report cited by his press secretary, Sean Spicer, in a briefing Thursday, by explaining the comment to the United Kingdom government. He said his spokesman was simply repeating an assertion made by a Fox News commentator. "And so you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox, OK?"

And a UK Government spokesman told Fox News: "No part of this story is true". "You should be talking to Fox", the New York Times quoted him as saying.

But the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said they had found no evidence to back the claims.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence weighed in on Thursday, finding "no indications" that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance. He did not elaborate on the details of the information.

When asked if the DOJ's documents would confirm Trump's as of yet wholly unsubstantiated allegations, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes told CNN, "I don't think so" as he walked into a room to read the report.

The committee had asked for copies of any warrants, applications, or court orders relating to a wiretap of Trump or his surrogates and affiliates in advance of a Monday hearing at which the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency directors are expected to testify about alleged connections between the Trump team and Russian authorities.

The tweets, which cover everything from jobs to health care to terrorist threats, come the day after the Trump White House got into hot water with a key USA ally for quoting a Fox contributor.

Trump, who has stuck by his unsubstantiated assertion that Obama ordered his telephone tapped a year ago despite across-the-board denials, wryly used Merkel's visit to repeat his contention. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" he tweeted.