According to Judge Andrew Napolitano and Fox News, three intelligence sources said that President Obama contacted British intelligence and asked them to monitor President Trump’s communications.
Three intelligence sources claimed that President Obama used connections with British intelligence to monitor President Trump’s communications during the 2016 election, according to Fox News. Judge Andrew Napolitano said that President Obama had contacted the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in order to obtain the National Security Agency’s (NSA) records of Trump communications through an intelligence sharing agreement.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 14, 2017
“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command,” Napolitano said on Fox & Friends. “He used GCHQ.”
Napolitano explained the significance of GCHQ: “That’s the initials for the British spying agency. They have 24/7 access to the NSA database.”
If President Obama wanted to access conversations that Trump was having, he could contact GCHQ through back channels, leaving “no American fingerprints,” according to the claim.
The United States and the United Kingdom belong to an intelligence-sharing association of states known as ‘Five Eyes,’ the other members being Canada, New Zeland, and Austrailia. These countries “share virtually all intelligence,” according to PBS’s Margaret Warner.
The Washington Post reported that Britain’s highest intelligence court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, found past sharing between the NSA and the GCHQ illegal. However, the tribunal also ruled that, after certain safeguards had been installed in December 2014, data sharing between the two organizations became lawful. Since then, GCHQ has maintained its access to NSA communications databases.
The last time that British intelligence inserted itself into presidential politics involved the Trump dossier, when Buzzfeed published a document making explosive and wild allegations about then-President-elect Donald Trump’s connections to Russia. The author of the dossier was revealed to be Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent.
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