Yesterday Sean Spicer read aloud at the White House press briefing a report by Fox News’ Judge Napolitano that Obama may have used the British intel service GCHQ to spy on the Trump campaign.
Well it turns out the Brits not only dismiss the report as nonsense, but didn’t appreciate the accusation one bit and now the White House has had to apologize for making such a an ‘utterly ridiculous’ claim:
CNN – The White House has apologized to the British government after alleging that a UK intelligence agency spied on President Donald Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with his British counterpart on Thursday about press secretary Sean Spicer’s comment from the White House podium about a Fox News report that said British intelligence helped wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign, a White House official said Friday.
The official described the conversation as “cordial” where McMaster described Spicer’s comment as “unintentional.”
McMaster also told his counterpart that “their concerns were understood and heard and it would be relayed to the White House.”
The official said there was “at least two calls” from British officials on Thursday and that the British ambassador to the United States called Spicer to discuss the comment.
“Sean was pointing to the breadth of reporting, not endorsing any specific story,” the official said.
A senior administration official told CNN that Spicer and McMaster offered what amounted to an apology to the British government
GCHQ said the claim was “nonsense” and should be ignored. The agency rarely comments on specific operations, and almost never in such blunt terms.
Then, at a regular press briefing, Downing Street said it had sought and received reassurances that the allegations would not be repeated.
“This shows the administration doesn’t give the allegations any credence,” the Downing Street spokesman said. “We have a close special relationship with the White House and that allows us to raise concerns as and when they arise, as was true in this case,” he added.
Britain is particularly sensitive to any suggestion that the US would use GCHQ to keep “American fingerprints” off the spying.
— New Day (@NewDay) March 17, 2017
While there still may be some validity to Trump’s claims, he clearly went about this the wrong way and now it’s propelled this into an international incident. I hope he’s learned a valuable lesson in all of this…