The United States has made a formal apology to Britain after baselessly claiming that the nation's spy service, GCHQ, helped former President Obama wiretap Trump Tower before President Trump's inauguration. The apology came "directly" from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, a person familiar with the incident told The Telegraph.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said there are "no indications" that Trump was wiretapped by Obama. Nevertheless, Spicer alleged that Obama was able to get intelligence on Trump and that "there's no American fingerprints on it."
"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 — he used GCHQ," Spicer told the press. A GCHQ spokesperson responded, calling the allegation "nonsense," "utterly ridiculous," and adding that it "should be ignored."
"The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something this consequential cannot be overstated," tweeted Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice.
A spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the White House assured Britain the allegation would not be repeated again.