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NSA director says U.S. government did not ask British intelligence to spy on Trump

The director of the National Security Agency said the Obama administration did not ask British intelligence to spy on Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer alleged last week.

Adm. Mike Rogers said such a request to eavesdrop on a U.S. citizen would be "expressly against the construct" of intelligence agreements with the British and other close allies.

"I have seen nothing on the NSA side that we ever engaged in such activity" or was asked to conduct surveillance of Trump by Obama, Rogers said.

Rogers testified during the first congressional hearing into Russia's role during the 2016 presidential campaign and into President Trump's claims, first made on Twitter, that Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower.

Last Thursday, Spicer repeated a claim by a Fox News commentator that British intelligence had spied on Trump before his inauguration to keep "American fingerprints" off the surveillance.

The British signals agency, known as GCHQ, issued a rare and angry denial. A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May also denied the charge, and the British Embassy in Washington complained to the White House.

Trump last week declined to withdraw the allegation during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and referred reporters to Fox News for comment. Fox News later said it had no evidence "full stop" to support the commentator's claim.

Rogers declined to discuss press reports that U.S. surveillance picked up several telephone conversations between retired Lt. Gen Mike Flynn, who was ousted as national security adviser last month, and Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, after last year's election.

 

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