UK intelligence agency GCHQ has dismissed US reports - cited by the White House press secretary - that it was involved in running a surveillance operation on Donald Trump before last year's US election as "utterly ridiculous".
During a press conference on Thursday, White House press Secretary Sean Spicer cited a Fox News story alleging that former President Obama had "used GCHQ" to spy on Trump.
Fox News pundit Judge Andrew Napolitano cited unnamed sources to float suggestions Obama used GCHQ to spy on Trump while maintaining deniability.
"Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls… by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.
"When senior American intelligence officials denied that their agencies knew about this, they were probably being truthful," he added.
Utter tosh, according to GCHQ.
Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wire tapping' against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.
GCHQ routinely applies a policy of neither confirming or denying intelligence operations. The signals intelligence agency's decision has decided to break this rule to issue an unusually strong denial in an apparent attempt to make sure it is not dragged into a hugely contentious US debate. ®