British Security Official Says U.K. Did Not Spy on Trump for Obama

A British security official has dismissed a claim that a U.K. spy agency conducted surveillance on U.S. President Donald Trump, the latest explanation being offered to deny Trump’s claim that former President Obama had his phones tapped. The unnamed British official cited by Reuters is just the latest person to wade into the scandal, after Trump went on a Twitter tirade this month and accused Obama of having his phones wiretapped ahead of the election. As Trump’s allegation faces increasing skepticism—and no evidence has turned up yet—Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano explained the lack of evidence by saying Obama had relied on British intelligence. “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 FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice,” Napolitano said, adding that Obama had supposedly used Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters. The claim, which came as the U.S. Justice Department requested more time to find evidence in support of Trump’s accusation, is “totally untrue and quite frankly absurd,” the British official told Reuters. Under British law, he said, the spy agency “can only gather intelligence for national-security purposes,” and the U.S. election “clearly doesn’t meet that criteria.”