President Donald Trump on Wednesday repeated a claim that United Kingdom’s intelligence service helped former President Barack Obama spy on his 2016 campaign and said he can’t wait until ‘the truth comes out.’
The president cited a report from former CIA analyst Larry Johnson – best known for peddling a hoax about Michelle Obama – on the conservative One America News Network.
‘”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!,’ he tweeted.
Johnson has long claimed the British helped Obama’s administration help spy on Trump – a charge the United Kingdom has denied.
President Donald Trump repeated a claim that United Kingdom’s intelligence service helped former President Barack Obama spy on his 2016 campaign
Johnson is best known for spreading a hoax about Michelle Obama, seen here with President Obama at the White House in September 2009
Trump’s accusation comes the day after the White House announced the first couple will make a state visit to the United Kingdom in June.
The White House has touted Johnson’s claim before and infuriated the British over it.
In March 2017 Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano charged the U.K. with spying on Trump – an accusation the White House seized upon and repeated.
Napolitano claimed The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) wiretapped Trump’s campaign on behalf of Obama.
Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated the charge from the podium during one of his briefings, drawing outrage from the British.
A spokesperson for the British intelligence agency called the claims ‘utterly ridiculous.’
‘They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,’ the spokesperson said in a rare statement on intelligence activities.
The president was asked about it during a March 17, 2017 press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
‘We said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television, I didn’t make an opinion on it. You shouldn’t be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox,’ he said at the time.
Shortly after Trump’s statement, Fox News disavowed Napolitano’s claim on the air.
‘Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,’ anchor Shepard Smith said. ‘Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop.’
Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson has long claimed the British helped Obama’s administration help spy on Trump – a charge the United Kingdom has denied
In March 2017 Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano charged the U.K. with spying on Trump – claim he made using Johnson as a source
The American and British governments have an agreement not to spy on each other as members of the ‘Five Eyes.’
The U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all members of the group. The five countries share intelligence information and agree not to spy against one another.
Johnson admitted he was one of Napolitano’s sources on the matter.
He told Politico at the time that his source on the spying claim was someone ‘with a history of having access to national security information.’
Johnson worked at the CIA from 1985 to 1989 but is best known for spreading the hoax in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videotaped using a slur against Caucasians.
He claimed she ‘railing against whitey’ at a church.
Johnson said he had not seen the tape himself but heard from sources Republicans had the tape ‘to drop at the appropriate time.’
No such tape was ever released.
Then White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated the charge from the podium, infuriating the British
President Trump was asked about the matter in his March 2017 press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
He’s also a defender of Russia and frequently appears on Russian state TV.
‘I’m not a nut,’ he told Politico. ‘I call things as I see it. I don’t pander to any one particular political position.’
Trump, meanwhile, has been ramping claims his campaign was spied up since word came special counsel Robert Mueller was wrapping up his investigation and about to deliver his report.
The president seized upon a claim made by Attorney General William Barr – in an early April hearing before Mueller’s report came out – that there was U.S. spying against Trump’s campaign and he was assembling a team to review investigative conduct during the elections.
‘I think spying did occur,’ Barr said at a Senate hearing.
‘I think what he said was absolutely true. There was absolutely spying into my campaign,’ Trump said after Barr’s testimony. ‘I’ll go a step further. It was my opinion it was illegal spying, unprecedented spying, and something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.’