UK POLITICS: NSA Ridicules Allegation Britain Spied on Trump

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By Politicoscope March 18, 2017 15:00

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Richard Ledgett, deputy director of the NSA, told BBC News the idea that Britain had a hand in spying on Trump was “just crazy”.

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UK POLITICS: NSA Ridicules Allegation Britain Spied on Trump

Allegations from the United States that British spy agency GCHQ snooped on Donald Trump during his election campaign are “arrant nonsense”, the deputy head of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) said in an interview on Saturday.

President Trump has stood by unproven claims that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 White House race. On Thursday his spokesman cited a media report that Britain’s GCHQ was behind the surveillance.

Richard Ledgett, deputy director of the NSA, told BBC News the idea that Britain had a hand in spying on Trump was “just crazy”.

“It belies a complete lack of understanding of how the relationship works between the intel community agencies, it completely ignores the political reality of ‘would the UK government agree to do that?'”, Ledgett said.

There would be no advantage for Britain’s government in spying on Trump, given the potential cost, he said.

“It would be epically stupid,” said Ledgett, who is due to retire shortly.

Current and former NSA officials have described an acrimonious relationship between intelligence agencies and the Trump administration.

Trump, who became president in January, tweeted earlier this month that his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama had wiretapped him during the late stages of the 2016 campaign. The Republican president offered no evidence for the allegation, which an Obama spokesman said was “simply false”.

Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano on Tuesday accused the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – the British equivalent of the NSA – of having helped Obama to spy on Trump.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer quoted Napolitano’s comments on Thursday.

GCHQ said the claims it spied on Trump were “utterly ridiculous” and should be ignored, in a rare public statement.

On Friday, Trump said questions on this should be asked of Fox News, not him.

– Reuters


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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope March 18, 2017 15:00

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Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help

There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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