THE Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) on Friday called allegations that they helped to wiretap U.S. President Donald Trump “utterly ridiculous.”
The intelligence agency was drawn into the controversy when Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano reported that GCHQ had aided former president Barack Obama in surveilling Trump’s calls.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president elect are nonsense,” GCHQ said in a statement.
“They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” Napolitano said Obama had used British intelligence to help him surveil activities at Trump Tower so he could bypass American agencies and avoid leaving “Obama administration fingerprints.”
Trump accused his predecessor of “wiretapping” his New York office in the weeks before his November election victory in a series of tweets on March 4.
Trump’s spokesman later clarified that Trump meant “surveillance” in general when he wrote “wiretap.”
Trump on March 5, asked Congress to investigate his allegations that former president Barack Obama ordered the tapping of his phones during the election campaign, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced in a statement on Sunday.
The White House request came a day after Trump accused his predecessor of ordering a wiretap of the phones at Trump Tower, his New York residence and campaign headquarters, during the presidential campaigns for the Nov. 8 polls.
On March 4, Trump tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. “Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
The President added: “Is it legal for a sitting president to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”
“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to election!”
Trump also accused Democrats on Sunday: “Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?
“Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, ‘Tell Vladimir that after the election I’ll have more flexibility?’ @foxandfriends”
However, Obama, in a statement on Saturday through his spokesman Kevin Lewis, denied the allegations.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.
“As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” Lewis said.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s formerdeputy national security adviser, also denied Trump’s claims. “No President can order a wiretap.
Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes wrote on Twitter in a response to Trump.