Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

UK spy agency says claims it spied on Trump are 'utterly ridiculous'

Donald Trump repeats claims the Obama administration asked Britain to spy on him

President Donald Trump has accused Britain's spy agency of spying on him in a tweet. AP 
President Donald Trump has accused Britain's spy agency of spying on him in a tweet. AP 

Britain's spy agency has dismissed claims by Donald Trump that it spied on him as "utterly ridiculous".

The revelation was made by the President in a tweet just a day after he accepted an invite from the Queen Elizabeth II to attend a state visit to the UK in June.

In the tweet, on Wednesday, Mr Trump claimed the Obama administration asked Britain to spy on him after the 2016 presidential election.

He alleged that a former CIA analyst, Larry Johnson, had accused Britain of spying on the Trump campaign.

He tweeted: "It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!"

When asked about the tweet, a GCHQ spokesman said: "The allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct 'wire tapping' against the then President Elect are nonsense.

"They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored."

Former FBI director James Comey refuted the claims when they first surfaced two years ago.

At the time he dismissed White House allegations that Britain’s listening station had been used to circumvent restrictions on US agencies spying on American citizens.

It came after Mr Trump's former spokesman Sean Spicer quoted Judge Andrew Napolitano’s comments on a news channel about Mr Obama, saying: “He used GCHQ. What is that? It’s the initials for the British intelligence finding agency.”

Mr Comey said the FBI and the department of justice had no evidence to support Mr Trump’s claims.

At the time the White House gave assurances to Britain that the allegations would not be repeated and claimed Mr Spicer was "simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story".

A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May previously said it had been made clear to US authorities the claims were "ridiculous and should have been ignored".

The tweet comes after the White House announced he would be coming on a state visit and said the trip would “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom".

During his planned visit to Britain, Mr Trump is due to meet with Mrs May.

Updated: April 24, 2019 05:39 PM

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