White House Not Apologizing to UK for Spying Claim After All

Meanwhile Trump is trying to skirt responsibility for the claim
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 6:55 PM CDT
White Denies Apology to Britain Over Spying Claim
White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 16, 2017.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Not so fast: After reports the White House—specifically Sean Spicer and national security adviser HR McMaster—had apologized to the British government for claiming it helped Barack Obama spy on President Trump, the White House now says no such apology ever took place, CNN reports. "I don't think we regret anything," Spicer said at a press conference Friday. On Thursday, Spicer claimed a UK intelligence agency had spied on Trump at Obama's behest. The British government was bloody upset by the claim, with a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May calling it "ridiculous." Despite a senior administration member earlier saying Spicer and McMaster had apologized, the White House is now saying the pair was simply listening to the concerns of the British government.

Trump himself is refusing to retract the claim, while simultaneously attempting to distance himself from it, the New York Times reports. "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind," Trump said during a Friday press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "You shouldn't be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox." The unsubstantiated claim was first made Tuesday on Fox News by analyst Andrew Napolitano. But Fox News doesn't want anything to do with it either. "Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary," anchor Shepard Smith said Friday, adding the network has "no evidence of any kind" that Trump was surveilled at all. According to Reuters, Trump's ongoing claims of surveillance have now been denied by top members of both parties, Obama, and the British government. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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