Trump repeats claims that GCHQ spied on his campaign in 2016

April 24, 2019

GCHQ has dismissed fresh allegations that it spied on Donald Trump's presidential campaign - describing the claims as "utterly ridiculous".

Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst, has accused the British intelligence agency of helping Barack Obama by spying on the billionaire businessman during the 2016 race.

The US president tweeted about the rumours on Wednesday after they were highlighted in a report on the right-wing One America News Network.

Mr Trump wrote: "'Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.' @OANN WOW!

"It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!"

Mr Johnson is a controversial figure in the US, and he has been accused of making false allegations before - including one that Michelle Obama had been recorded using a slur against white people.

GCHQ has said the claims it spied on Mr Trump are "utterly ridiculous and should be ignored".

This is the second time that the agency has had to deny the rumours. In 2017, Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, claimed he had been told that the Obama administration had wanted to use the British agency so there would be "no American fingerprints on this".

Napolitano's claims were then picked up by then White House press secretary Sean Spicer to back up Mr Trump's accusation that the Obama administration had bugged his phones.

The president also claimed in interviews that he had proof - but that never materialised.

At the time, GCHQ issued a rare public denial saying: "Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against the then president-elect are nonsense."

Mr Trump's tweet comes just a day after it was announced he would make a state visit to the UK in June.

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