“Allegations from the United States that British spy agency GCHQ snooped on Donald Trump during his election campaign are “arrant nonsense,” the deputy head of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) said in an interview on Saturday.
President Trump has stood by unproven claims that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 White House race. On Thursday his spokesman cited a media report that Britain’s GCHQ was behind the surveillance.
Richard Ledgett, deputy director of the NSA, told BBC News the idea that Britain had a hand in spying on Trump was “just crazy.”
“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?’” Ledgett said.
There would be no advantage for Britain’s government in spying on Trump, given the potential cost, he said.
“It would be epically stupid,” said Ledgett, who is due to retire shortly.
The Guardian reports an official GCHQ denial before following less than a month later with an exclusive which strangely contradicts the substantive claims. (MonsieursGhost, 12/17/2021)