Donald Trump accuses UK of spying on his 2016 campaign, reigniting row with GCHQ

From The Telegraph-

‘Donald Trump has reignited a row over unfounded claims that Britain spied on his 2016 election campaign just a day after his UK state visit was announced.

The US president tweeted that a former CIA analyst had accused UK intelligence agencies of “helping [the] Obama Administration spy on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign”. 

Mr Trump added: “WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!” 

The comment echoes a previous row in 2017 when Sean Spicer, Mr Trump’s press secretary at the time, made a similar accusation against GCHQ, Britain’s secret listening post, which was rebutted. 

Asked about the Trump tweet, a GCHQ spokesman referred back to their 2017 response: “The allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” 

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

“Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.” @OANN WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!71.3K12:04 PM – Apr 24, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy37.3K people are talking about this

Mr Trump’s tweet comes just hours after both Downing Street and the White House talked up the closeness of the UK-US relationship when announcing the president’s state visit in June. 

Both Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and the White House press release which confirmed the trip talked about the “steadfast and special relationship” between both countries. 

The decision by Mr Trump to again point the finger at Britain’s intelligence services comes as he attempts to shine a light on the origins of the Russia inquiry in the wake of the Mueller report. 

The president and his allies have accused US intelligence services of acting in a biased manner when they opened an investigation into his campaign’s links with the Kremlin before the 2016 election.’ 

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