Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from a spokesperson for the British government.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano believes former President Barack Obama might have gone “outside the chain of command” in order to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, made the bombshell claim that “three intelligence sources” told the network that Obama used GCHQ, a British intel agency, to spy on the Trump campaign in order to avoid any record of the alleged wiretapping.
“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice,” Napolitano said. “He used GCHQ.”
According to the Fox analyst, GCHQ has “24-hour access” to the NSA’s database.
“So by simply having two people go to them saying, ‘President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving President-elect Trump,’ he’s able to get it,” Napolitano told host Brian Kilmeade. “And there’s no American fingerprints on this.”
Napolitano said the individual who actually ordered the alleged surveillance under Obama’s direction “resigned three days after Donald Trump was inaugurated.”
The judge, it should be pointed out, offered no evidence to back up his accusations. And in a statement Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the British government rejected the validity of Napolitano’s accusations.
“No part of this story is true,” the spokesperson told TheBlaze.
On Monday, the Justice Department asked lawmakers for more time to gather evidence regarding Trump’s allegation that Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 election, according to Reuters.
A spokesperson for the department told reporters the agency needed more time “to review the request in compliance with the governing legal authorities and to determine what if any responsive documents may exist.”
Trump earlier this month alleged in a series of tweets that he believed Obama “wiretapped” him during the campaign.
However, during his daily press briefing Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer reinterpreted the president’s controversial tweets, saying Trump does not think Obama personally wiretapped him but was instead “referring to surveillance overall.”
Spicer said Trump “doesn’t really think” Obama “tapped his phone personally.”
“The president used the word 'wiretap' in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities,” he said.
The House Intelligence Committee will begin hearings March 20 on Russia’s alleged interference into the U.S. presidential election. The lawmakers plan to discuss Trump’s claims about Obama at that time.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 13, 2017