The United States on Friday issued an apology to Britain after it had claimed that the European nation’s intelligence agency had assisted former President Barack Obama in spying on US President Donald Trump, officials told the Telegraph. Earlier in the day, intelligence agency GCHQ had said the claims by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano were “nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored”.

Unidentified officials told Telegraph that White House Press Secretary and US National Security Adviser had issued an apology. “The apology came directly from them,” the UK-based daily quoted the official as saying.

During a press conference, Spicer had said, “On Fox News on March 14th, Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement. ‘Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He used GCHQ’.”

Trump had alleged that he was under surveillance and accused his predecessor Obama of ordering his phones to be tapped. He has, however, not provided any evidence to support his claims. A Senate committee has said that there were “no indications” that Trump Tower was under surveillance by the US government before or after the presidential elections.

On March 5, Obama’s spokesperson had denied Trump’s claim that the former president had wire-tapped his phones during the presidential campaign last year.