Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is denying claims made in a new book about the Trump White House that he warned Trump aides that the British intelligence service had spied on the Republican’s presidential campaign.
The claim is made in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a new White House tell-all written by Michael Wolff.
Wolff writes that Blair shared a “juicy rumor” with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner during a White House meeting in February.
Blair, according to Wolff, said that “the British had had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications and possibly even Trump himself.”
According to The Times, the British newspaper, Wolff wrote that Blair shared the rumor as part of a campaign to curry favor with the Trump White House.
Wolff wrote that “it was unclear whether Blair’s information was rumor, informed conjecture, his own speculation, or solid stuff.”
But Kushner and then-White House adviser Steve Bannon took the warning seriously enough, according to Wolff, that they made a trip to CIA headquarters to find out.
The CIA later told the White House that Blair’s comments were a “miscommunication.”
Blair did meet with Kushner in February but vehemently denied in a radio interview on Thursday that he said anything about British spying on the Trump campaign.
“This story, as we have pointed out, is a complete fabrication,” he said during an interview on BBC Radio 4. “I mean literally, from beginning to end. I’ve never had such conversations, in the White House, outside the White House, with Jared Kushner, with anybody else.”
A month after the alleged conversation between Blair and Kushner, Trump began alleging on Twitter that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower, where the campaign was headquartered.
In a press briefing in March, then-press secretary Sean Spicer quoted from a Fox News report that the Obama administration relied on GCHQ, the British spy service, to conduct surveillance on Trump Tower. GCHQ quickly issued a statement rebutting the allegation.