NSA official: Claims that UK spied on Trump 'nonsense'

NSA official: Claims that UK spied on Trump 'nonsense'
© Greg Nash

The deputy director of the National Security Agency on Saturday called allegations that former President Obama used a British spy agency to surveil President Trump's election campaign "arrant nonsense."

"It belies a complete lack of understanding of how the relationship works between the intel community agencies, it completely ignores the political reality of 'would the UK government agree to do that?' " Richard Ledgett said in an interview with the BBC.

Ledgett said Britain would have no motivation to participate in such a risky act, saying that to do so would be "epically stupid."

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Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano stirred controversy on Tuesday during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" when he claimed without providing evidence that the BCHQ, Britain's top spy agency, had spied on Trump's campaign at the command of the Obama administration.

The allegation drew more backlash on Thursday, after White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated the claim during his daily press briefing, reportedly angering British government officials.

Trump addressed the accusation himself at a news conference on Friday, saying he was not responsible for Napolitano's claim and telling reporters that they "should be talking to Fox."

“That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox," he said. "So you should not be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.”

Spicer also said Friday that he had no reason to apologize, because he was repeating Napolitano's claim and not endorsing it.