President Donald Trump defiantly refused to back down Friday from his explosive claim that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones, and sidestepped any blame for the White House decision to highlight an unverified report that Britain helped carry out the alleged surveillance.
"Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct "wire tapping" against the then President Elect are nonsense", the statement said.
The accusation was made by United States media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano - then repeated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The White House has said that Trump's initial claims, posted in a flurry of tweets earlier this month, should not be taken literally. "This harms our and US security".
But, not only did Spicer cause an global incident that forced an overnight apology from our national security adviser to one of our most stalwart allies, he also repeatedly stretched truths and connected dots where no dots should be connected from behind a podium that makes him the main spokesman for the US government.
Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman, James Slack, says the British government has made it clear to the USA that the "ridiculous" claims should be ignored.
"I would add as a matter of fact that under the "Five Eyes" intelligence agreement, we can not use each other's capabilities to circumvent the law". "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. It's a situation that simply wouldn't arise", a spokesperson for the British government said.
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Twitter Inc allows for two-factor authentication, a security feature that would deter many attempts to seize an account. The posting was removed shortly after it went up, and the company later addressed the offensive tweet.
Notably, the president has previously described precisely this kindof article - a report by the "failing" New York Times, based on anonymous sources, insinuating a connection between Trump and Russian Federation - as "fake news" that should not be believed. "The President has already been very clear that he didn't mean specifically wiretapping, he had it in quotes", Spicer said. Officials have said Trump did not necessarily mean Obama personally ordered the surveillance, that wiretapping could refer to a broad range of surveillance efforts, and that the effort may not have specifically targeted Trump Tower in NY.
"Trump is compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment", he said, adding: "This harms our and US security".
The four lawmakers leading the House and Senate intelligence committees looking into Russia's interference in the U.S. elections have all said they have not seen any evidence to back up Trump's claims.
He says, "you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox".
The lowlight of Spicer's performance was a lengthy reading of press clips - largely from conservative columnist and pundits - that allegedly made the case for why Trump was right about the wiretapping.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also said he had not seen any evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped.