Ex-UK ambassador to USA calls Trump's wiretap claims 'damaging'

Posted March 21, 2017

The heads of multiple US government agencies just stated definitively that they've found no evidence to back up Donald Trump's claims that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.

Earlier this month, Trump doubled down on his claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones during the presidential campaign.

"This is a risky game", Westmacott writes, explaining that "the intelligence relationship between Britain and America is unique and precious".

The foreign secretary will meet some of Donald Trump's closest aides in the White House on Tuesday and is expected to see senior Republican congressional leaders.

Britain's national security adviser, Mark Lyall, had spoken with Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his American counterpart, to diffuse the situation.

'Gratuitously damaging it by peddling falsehoods and then doing nothing to set the record straight would be a gift to our enemies they could only dream of'.

The former envoy further censured the NY billionaire for his "famous reluctance to admit mistakes".

Writing in the Guardian, Sir Peter Westmacott accused the White House of "peddling falsehoods" after Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, repeated claims that the UK's intelligence agency, GCHQ, had assisted then-president Barack Obama in tapping Trump's NY phones.

GCHQ issued a rare public statement slamming the accusation as "utterly ridiculous" and warned that it "should be ignored".

Trump reiterated those claims when he spoke in front of the media during his meeting with Angela Merkel, and though the British government already debunked those claims, Trump didn't offer an apology for making baseless claims.

Sir Peter's comments will be seen as underlining the strength of feeling among the British intelligence and diplomatic communities at the actions of the White House. "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television". Fox News now says it can not confirm the report. "I didn't make an opinion on it", Trump said.

He added: "You shouldn't be talking to me".

While the hearing is focused on Russia's meddling in the USA election and the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russian Federation, lawmakers also quickly sought to dispel any remaining support for Trump's allegations.

The committee is holding a hearing on the issue Monday.

Boris Johnson will fly to Washington this week to patch up ties with the Trump administration after a row over intelligence sharing last week that threatened to damage relations with Britain.