NEW YORK: The White House has flatly denied all reports suggesting that the United States tendered an apology to the British government over a report alleging that a UK intelligence agency spied on President Donald Trump, at the behest of his predecessor Barack Obama.
Earlier in the day, however, a senior administration official told CNN that White House press secretary Sean Spicer and national security adviser H.R. McMaster offered what amounted to an apology to the British government for Spicer's comments on Thursday, when he cited a report stating that the said British intelligence helped wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.
When asked if there was an apology by the administration to the British government over the matter, Spicer replied, "No, we were just passing on news reports."
Earlier, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May said senior UK officials had protested to the Trump administration after the claims were repeated by Spicer.
"We've made clear to the US administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored. We've received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated," May's spokesman said.
Spicer had read out allegations that the UK intelligence agency GCHQ had spied on Trump.
"Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement, quote, 'Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command (to spy on Trump). He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA ... he used GCHQ,'" Spicer told journalists.
However, GCHQ said the claim was "nonsense" and should be ignored.