Trump offers no apology for claim on United Kingdom spying

White House promises not to repeat claim that Britain spied on Trump

Merkel was making her first visit to the White House since Trump took office.

Spicer said it was one of many reports that suggest the president's claims "merit looking into".

McMaster also stated that "their concerns were understood and heard and it would be relayed to the White House", CNN's source in the White House said.

Mr Spicer's intervention came shortly after the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a statement saying it had seen no evidence to support the US president's claim - made in a series of Twitter posts earlier this month - that Mr Obama had bugged Trump Towers. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said Friday that the network could not independently verify the reports from Andrew Napolitano, a former judge and commentator who has met with Trump.

"We said nothing" about the GCHQ claim, Trump told journalists.

"Fox News can not confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary", said Smith.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said yesterday the Government had "received assurances" that Mr Spicer's claims would not be repeated. "Spicer and Gen. McMaster explained that Spicer was simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story".

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats - the junior partner in the last British coalition government - described Spicer's repetition of the claims as "shameful" and said Trump was "compromising the vital UK-US security relationship to try to cover his own embarrassment".

The U.S. and United Kingdom are members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which prohibits members from spying on each other.

The diplomat and White House official both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. "And, frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think that President Obama is owed an apology in that regard because, if he didn't do it, we shouldn't be reckless in accusations that he did", Cole said.

The Justice Department said Friday it "has complied with the request from leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and Judiciary Committees seeking information related to surveillance during the 2016 election".

The House Committee is set to hold a hearing on Monday with National Security Agency director Mike Rogers and Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former chairman of the British parliament's intelligence and security committee, demanded the White House withdraw the allegations and not merely say they would not be repeated.

Nunes said his committee was still waiting for the information it requested from the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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