The Daily Telegraph

Trump declares: ‘I was right about spying and GCHQ’

President stands by his most controvers­ial claims and says there is no reason for him to apologise

- By Nick Allen in Washington and Harriet Alexander in New York magazine: I ht. ere ed ve lso ii peopl immigratio Sweden tel more can preside I’ stinctua in b

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP said yesterday he had been proved “right” about controvers­ial claims that the Obama ad- ministrati­on spied on him, and declined to apologise for saying GCHQ carried out the surveillan­ce.

Mr Trump’s declaratio­n followed revelation­s from Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligen­ce Committee, that the names and communicat­ions of Mr Trump and his team appeared in intelligen­ce reports as part of an “incidental collection”.

According to Mr Nunes the surveillan­ce was between Mr Trump’s election win and his inaugurati­on.

The president told Time “So, that means I’m right. Who knows what it is? You know, why, because somebody says ‘incidental’. [We] were under surveillan­ce during the Obama administra­tion, following November’s election. Wow.”

Mr Trump also stood behind Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst who first suggested GCHQ had been asked by the Obama administra­tion to carry out the spying.

Mr Napolitano was later dropped by the television network and GCHQ called the assertions “utterly ridiculous”. Mr Trump told Time: “I quoted the judge the other day. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources told him things that would make me right.

“I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks. Why do you say that I have to apologise?”

Mr Trump also stood behind previ- ous controvers­ial claims, including that millions of people voted illegally, immigratio­n caused violence in Sweden, and that he was right to tell Nato members to pay more. He told Time Time’s reporter: “I guess I can’t be doing so badly because I’m president and you’re not. I’m a very instinctua­l person, but my instinct turns out to be right. I pre- dicted Brexit.” The president spoke as CNN claimed associates of Mr Trump may have been in contact with suspected Russian operatives during the election. An official told CNN that people linked to Mr Trump’s campaign were “giving the thumbs up” to release informatio­n damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Mr Nunes has apologised for not informing Democratic colleagues first before going to the White House with the allegation­s about the “incidental” surveillan­ce of Mr Trump’s transition team.

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