Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has vehemently denied claims that he warned President Donald Trump's advisers that United Kingdom intelligence might have spied on Trump during his campaign, the Guardian reported.
What's the story?
In his newly released book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” author Michael Wolff wrote that Blair had a secret meeting with Trump's son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner to inform him that Trump's campaign staff and possibly even Trump had been under British surveillance.
Wolff also wrote that Blair had maneuvered for a job as Trump's Middle East envoy, according to the Guardian.
What did Blair say about the accusations in the book?
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Blair said the book's allegations are entirely false.
“This story is a complete fabrication, literally from beginning to end. I’ve never had such conversation in the White House, outside of the White House, with Jared Kushner, with anybody else,” Blair said in the interview.
Blair said he'd met with Kushner, but he was clear that he had no interest at all in gaining a position on the Middle East Quartet, a position which he's held in the past.
“Of course I’ve met him and we discussed the Middle East peace process. I wasn’t angling for some job. I did the quartet role," Blair said. "I’m still very active on the Middle East peace process, but I’ve got absolutely no desire for an official position. I never sought one. It was never offered, don’t want one.”
What exactly does Wolff's book allege?
According to the Guardian, Wolff wrote that Blair had shared a “juicy nugget of information" with Kushner during a secret meeting and that knowledge “churned and festered” in the president’s mind.
Wolff also wrote that Blair suggested the possibility “that the British had had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications and possibly even Trump himself.”
And he added that Blair had explained to Kushner “that the Obama administration would not have asked the British to spy on the Trump campaign [but] the Brits would have been led to understand how helpful it might be if they did."
What else did Blair have to say?
The 64-year-old Blair told BBC Radio that he's troubled by how quickly Wolff's unsubstantiated claims had gained so much attention in the last day or so.
“The story is a sort of reflection on the crazy state of modern politics. Here’s a story that is literally an invention and is now halfway around the world with conspiracy theories attached to it," Blair said in the interview. "That’s modern politics.”
Blair dismissed similar claims last year saying the allegations were “so far beyond speculation there isn’t a word for it,” BBC News reported.