Analysis & Opinions - Prospect

Spies, Lies and Wiretaps

| Mar. 27, 2017

Never before has a US president attracted so much public criticism from US intelligence and its closest intelligence ally, Britain

Britain’s signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), recently made an unprecedented public statement rejecting allegations made by the White House that it had "wiretapped" the US President, Donald Trump. GCHQ did not mince its words, describing the allegations as "nonsense" and "utterly ridiculous." It said that they "should be ignored." Malcolm Rifkind, a former chair of parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, labelled the allegations "stupid" and "rubbish." Meanwhile, GCHQ's sister signals intelligence agency in America, the NSA, termed the claim “arrant nonsense." Never before has the White House attracted the collective public criticism of America's own intelligence community and that of its closest intelligence ally, Britain.

Despite the diplomatic furore caused on both sides of the Atlantic, at the time of writing President Trump appears to be standing firm on the uncorroborated claim that British intelligence spied on him....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walton, Calder.“Spies, Lies and Wiretaps.” Prospect, March 27, 2017.