Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

US Officials Reportedly Apologize To The UK Over Spying Claims


The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, spoke with knowledge of the classified report's contents.

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

Even in the face of flat denials by top officials in the Obama administration, who were in a position to know, Trump has stuck to his incendiary claim that the former president personally ordered a tap on his phones.

A government source, who requested anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said an initial examination of the material turned over by the Justice Department indicates that it contains no evidence to confirm Trump's claims that the Obama administration had wiretapped him or the Trump Tower in NY.

But at a news conference Trump brushed aside a question about whether it was a mistake to accuse British intelligence of eavesdropping.

The White House on Friday said that it never meant to lend credence to a Fox News commentator's baseless remarks supporting President Donald Trump's claim he'd been wiretapped by reading those remarks aloud in a press briefing.

GCHQ said the claims it spied on Trump were "utterly ridiculous" and should be ignored, in a rare public statement.

"That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox". Hurd replied, "I'm going to quote my father, Bob Hurd, and something that he's told all of my friends when they got married - it never hurts to say you're sorry".

And a UK Government spokesman told Fox News: "No part of this story is true".

There is no evidence such spying took place and GCHQ, the British electronic intelligence agency, has called the allegation "utterly ridiculous".

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has remained quiet, however.

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence committee have stated there are "no indications" of surveillance at Trump Tower in NY before or after the election.

At least four House and Senate committees are investigating Trump's charges, along with revelations about previously undisclosed Russian contacts with some of the president's top advisers. He did not elaborate on the details of the information.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House panel, and California Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking Democrat, issued an equally strong repudiation of the wiretap claim.

The House Committee is set to hold a hearing Monday with National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey.

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 US ally for quoting a Fox contributor. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" he tweeted.

"Is it legal for a sitting president to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election?" he said in another tweet. "A NEW LOW!" he continued, accusing Obama of crimes comparable to those of Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal.

Darroch and other British officials complained directly to White House officials after the episode.

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