The latest illustration of the president’s incapacity to admit error came Friday at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Spicer repeated the allegations on Thursday, quoting from that Fox News report. The White House has also apologised to the United Kingdom for the allegations. The Obama administration’s spying infuriated Germany at the time and risked damaging the USA relationship with one of its most important European partners.
In the weeks since, no evidence has emerged to back up the president’s claim.
The White House has apologized to the British government after alleging that a United Kingdom intelligence agency spied on President Donald Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama.
However, GCHQ dismissed the claim terming it “utterly ridiculous”.
The White House defiance came shortly after the top two senators overseeing the intelligence community joined the chorus of lawmakers debunking the claim. The White House had to try to calm irate British diplomats, with Spicer and national security adviser H.R. McMaster getting an earful from British officials. It may not be a big news flash at this point, but Trump was eschewing any responsibility for White House statements.
To sum up, the White House was citing phony information from Fox that Fox wouldn’t stand by.
And while reports surfaced on Friday that Spicer had apologized to British officials for repeating the spying accusation, the White House was publicly offered no such mea culpa. Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the other members.
The sources, which have knowledge of the contents of the report, spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity. Mr. Napolitano, he said, heard about his information through an intermediary. He used GCHQ… the initials from the British intelligence spying agency. The House Intelligence Committee has requested any evidence of a wiretap from the Justice Department by Monday.
The whole thing started with President Trump’s tweet, in which he accused former President Obama of personally ordering the wiretapping of Trump Tower prior to the election – a charge rejected on Thursday by both Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Nunes released a statement Friday evening confirming receipt of the report from DOJ and part of the information it requested from the NSA, which he said had committed to meet the full request by the end of next week. He, too, declined to provide details.
Merkel, who takes a cautious, analytical approach to politics, was also one of the few world leaders who appeared to forge a deep connection with Obama, with whom she was something of a kindred spirit.
Trump, who has stuck by his unsubstantiated assertion that Obama ordered his telephone tapped previous year despite across-the-board denials, wryly used Merkel’s visit to repeat his contention.