Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Trump Sparks New Row Over GCHQ Spying Claims
24 April 2019, 14:53 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 15:03
Britians signal intelligence agency has said claims it spied on Donald Trump's presidential campaign are "utterly ridiculous."
Just one day after being invited to the UK for a state visit, US president Donald Trump sparked fresh controversy by claiming he was spied on by Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency.
Highlighting a claim by a former CIA analyst that GCHQ assisted Barack Obama's administration by spying the 2016 Trump campaign.
The allegations came up in 2017 when White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command."
He said Mr Obama "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 to spy on Trump's presidential campaign.
Trump took to Twitter today repeating similar allegations, he said: "WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!"
“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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2019
However GCHQ responded by referring to a statement it issued when similar allegations surfaced in 2017 dismissing the claim it was asked to conduct "wiretapping" against the then president elect as "nonsense".
"They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored," the statement said.
The spat emerged a day after it was announced that the controversial US President would make a state visit to the UK in June.