Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

Trump Blames Fox News For International Incident With UK

Republicans weigh health bill changes as doubts mount Trump Blames Fox News For International Incident With UK
Howard Terry | 18 March, 2017, 01:10

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed up Mr. Trump on Thursday, saying some of those reports did in fact surface - but Mr. Ryan, who is privy to the same high-level intelligence as the top members of the intelligence committees, said no wiretapping occurred.

The unusual move by the agency came after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cited claims first made on US TV channel Fox News earlier this week.

Spicer quoted Napolitano saying Obama "went outside the chain of command" by not using United States intelligence.

Representatives for Prime Minister Theresa May also told the newspaper the White House promised that Spicer's claims would not be repeated.

The PM's spokesman said: "We have made clear to the (US) administration that these claims are ridiculous and that they should be ignored and we have received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated".

"When I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes".

Just under two weeks later, in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Trump appeared to walk back his original wiretapping allegations.

The White House wouldn't confirm whether the British government asked for Spicer to retract his remarks, or whether it was under consideration.

Rep. Charlie Dent also called Trump's unverified claim "inexplicable".

McMaster offered what amounted to an apology and described Spicer's remarks as "unintentional", CNN reported a senior administration official as having said.

On March 4, the US President had tweeted: "Terrible!"

The revelations come just days before FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael S. Rogers are scheduled to testify publicly about Mr. Trump's claims, as well as a broader debate about Russia's role in attempting to influence the USA election.

Mr Spicer went on to quote Mr Napolitano as saying: "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command - he didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn't use the Federal Bureau of Investigation and he didn't use the Department of Justice - he used GCHQ".

"He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the Central Intelligence Agency, he didn't use the Federal Bureau of Investigation and he didn't use the Department of Justice, he used GCHQ".

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee joined the House Intelligence Committee in saying it had found no evidence to support Trump's claim. McMaster reportedly told his British counterpart that the US government understood the concerns of the British government about Spicer's comments at the press briefing, and added that the comments were "unintentional". "He used GCHQ", Spicer said, again quoting Fox News. The Obama administration's spying infuriated Germany at the time and risked damaging the USA relationship with one of its most important European partners.

The White House has asked the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate the matter as part of their inquiries into Russia's hacking of the presidential election and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials.

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