01:26 GMT07 April 2020
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    US President Donald Trump's recent allegations that his predecessor Barack Obama employed British intelligence to conduct surveillance during the last presidential campaign severely damage US national security, former Defense Secretary Leon Panneta said in an interview on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated the claims first made by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano that Obama had used the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to conduct surveillance of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    "The only way we're going to deal with a lot of threats that are confronting us around the world is through alliances with our friends, whether it's NATO, Britain, or Australia, or others," Panetta told MSNBC. "And the more the President [Trump] angers our closest allies, the more he weakens our ability to deal with the threats that we are facing in the world."

    On Friday, GCHQ dismissed the allegations as "nonsense."

    On March 4, Trump said on Twitter that Obama had ordered his wires tapped before the November election. Trump said he had asked appropriate congressional committees to investigate the issue.

    FBI Director James Comey is expected to comment on the allegations later on Monday, during his public testimony in front of US House Intelligence Committee.

    spying, wiretapping, British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), NATO, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, United Kingdom, United States
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