GCHQ brands claims it wiretapped Trump "utterly ridiculous"

Fox analyst Andrew Napolitano suggested that Obama used the British spy agency to wiretap Trump

A claim that a UK intelligence agency helped former president Barack Obama "wiretap" Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign has been dismissed as "utterly ridiculous".

The allegation, which was first raised by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday evening, but then repeated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, suggests that Obama used GCHQ to spy on activities during the campaign so that there would be "no American fingerprints on this".

However, a spokesperson for GCHQ said in a statement seen by the Guardian: "Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against the then president-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored."

Napolitano, a judicial analyst for the Fox News network, mentioned during a TV interview on the "Fox & Friends" program that three intelligence sources had confirmed to him that the Obama administration had used the agency to conduct wiretapping on Trump.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"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 FBI, he didn't use the CIA, and he didn't use the Department of Justice," said Napolitano. "He used GCHQ. There's no American fingerprints on this."

Trump has since taken to Twitter to repeat the allegations, which so far are not supported by any firm evidence.

US and UK security agencies do work closely together as part of the Five-Eyes agreement, a shared intelligence program that includes agencies in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. As part of the Snowden revelations, it was discovered that the UK had allowed US counterparts to analyse the email records and internet activity of British citizens.

Trump started a political storm in March when he accused former president Obama of wiretapping his phones in a series of tweets. However, Trump appears to lack support for his claims, as both the Republican and the Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence committee, as well as the House intelligence committee, have concluded there is no evidence to support the accusations.

In an interview on Wednesday with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Trump said that the administration would be submitting evidence of his claims about wiretapping to the House intelligence panel "very soon".

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/internet-security/354484/facebook-exec-calls-cambridge-analytica-scandal-a-non-event
internet security

Facebook exec calls Cambridge Analytica scandal a "non event"

8 Jan 2020
Visit/security/internet-security/354417/avast-and-avg-extensions-pulled-from-chrome
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019
Visit/security/354156/google-confirms-android-cameras-can-be-hijacked-to-spy-on-you
Security

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019
Visit/policy-legislation/34515/what-has-donald-trump-done-for-the-tech-industry-so-far
Policy & legislation

What has Donald Trump done for the tech industry so far?

27 Sep 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354577/data-protection-fines-hit-ps100m
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data protection fines hit £100m during first 18 months of GDPR

20 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020