US President Donald Trump is about six weeks away to begin a state visit to the United Kingdom, but he is already making his hosts uncomfortable by spreading a once trashed allegation that UK spying agencies monitored him at the behest of the Obama administration.
The fake news was not his creation as he was quoting a media outlet One America News Network on Twitter. And it was not new as it was first made in 2017.
According to Sputnik News, the allegations were made by a not-so-credible former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, who left the Agency almost 30 years ago.
Johnson had made numerous controversial claims over the years, including spreading a hoax in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videod, issuing slurs against white people, and claiming in 2013 leading Democrat John Kerry was guilty of war crimes in Vietnam. He also said al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden wasn’t a threat two months before 9/11 attack.
In a March 2017 White House press conference, then-presidential spokesperson Sean Spicer said that the Cheltenham-based eavesdropping agency had colluded with the former POTUS.
“[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, what is that? It’s the initials for the British Intelligence Spying Agency”, he said.
It sparked a diplomatic incident between the two countries, prompting GCHQ bosses to make a rare public statement labelling the claims “utterly ridiculous”, and Trump’s then-National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to contact his colleague in No. 10 to personally apologise. McMaster also gave assurances that America would never repeat the embarrassment. Spicer also apologised.
“As we have previously stated, the allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored”, GCHQ said in response to the latest allegations.