British spy agency denies assisting Obama in spying on Trump; Republicans, Democrats reject Trump's 'wiretapping' claims

Namrata Tripathi
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British spy agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), on Thursday rejected White House claims that it assisted former United States President Barack Obama in spying on Donald Trump, according to reports.

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Backing Trump's claims of Obama "wiretapping" Trump Tower during 2016 US presidential elections campaign, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday had alleged that GCHQ had helped the former president in spying on Trump.

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"Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against the then president-elect are nonsense," the Guardian quoted a GCHQ spokesperson as saying. The spokesperson called the allegations "utterly ridiculous" and said that they should "be ignored".

Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano had reportedly claimed that "three intelligence sources confirmed to him" that the Obama administration used GCHQ to spy on Trump. Napolitano, according to Guardian, claimed that GCHQ was pressed into service so there would be "no American fingerprints on this."

Republicans, Democrats reject Trump's wiretapping assertions

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The US Senate Intelligence Committee leaders on Thursday issued a bipartisan statement rejecting Trump's claim that Obama administration tapped his phones during the presidential campaign last year.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan also was among the Republicans in Congress, who stated there was no evidence to back Trump's claim.

"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," Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senator Mark Warner, the committee's Democratic vice chairman, said in a statement.

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"The point is, the intelligence committees in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigation of all things Russia, got to the bottom - at least so far - with respect to our intelligence community that - that no such wiretap existed," Paul Ryan told reporters.

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