(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump joked that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “have something in common,” referring to how Merkel’s cellphone was listened to by the Obama administration.
The remark came when Trump was asked about his unfounded claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped during the presidential campaign. Trump was specifically asked by a German reporter at his joint press conference with Merkel Friday at the White House about claims originally made by a Fox News contributor who alleged that British intelligence services were tasked with surveilling Trump and his team. The Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, has since shot down those claims.
“We said nothing,” Trump said in reference to the claims that GCHQ was responsible for spying on Trump Tower. “All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for [the claim.]”
“You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox,” Trump said.
The claim in question was first said by Judge Andrew Napolitano who is a legal commentator for Fox News. White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated Napolitano’s comments — along with several other news articles which made claims about surveillance — at the White House press briefing on Thursday.
A spokesperson for GCHQ, the British intelligence agency that Napolitano referred to, denied the report Thursday.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then president elect are nonsense,” the spokesperson said in a press release. “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
He also stood by his tweets, which have sometimes caused controversy.
When asked if he ever regrets his tweets, Trump said “very seldom.”
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