'Utterly ridiculous': GCHQ shreds Spicer's claim that UK spy agency wiretapped Trump

What is a “wifi code”?

Regarding the “leader of the free world” situation in conjunction with Merkel the post-November-2016 world is best described as:

“In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed (wo)man is king”


And why would he anyhow? Did the US run out of spies all of a sudden?

The Trump administration’s claims have gone from the slanderous to the implausible to the flat-out batshit insane.


I think you’ve just described the entire Faux News organization.


Taken cynically, the five eyes countries operate under strictures that limit the surveillance of their domestic populations, but are able to evade these rules by outsourcing surveillance to a foreign intelligence service. So-- the NSA spies on the brits, GCHQ spies on Americans, and it all goes into a shared pool of information that allows the Americans to get dirt on Americans, the British to get dirt on other British, and so on.

(I don’t know if GCHQ is limited by statute-- the NSA and CIA certainly are.)


So, can we add GCHQ to the list of people and organizations that Trump has unnecessarily and foolishly provoked?


May I assume you are British, then?

Would you care to try to give me an idea what would need to jave happened behind the scenes for such an extra-oddinary response?

Would this go up to the prime minister ahead of such a break with usual protocol? I always understood that protocol is so deeply ingrained in the UK that it could be nearly the definition of britishness. As a German, I am shaken (shaken!) in my world view. And I can’t have that! I need an authority to explain this to me, as Germans do!

This is an attack on the use of unnamed sources to leak things about Trump. They are trying to create a, “look, you either trust unnamed sources or you don’t” dichotomy here.

1 Like

Well, my best guess is that my country, which does not have a written constitution, and a great deal of law is based on case law, does not have this rule actually written down anywhere. People happily talk about all sorts of things that have no connection with operational intelligence. The rule only takes effect when they might say something by inclusion or by omission about something operational.

I have a nasty feeling that a rule like that either has to be imprecise, or will refer to itself in some Quine-like fashion, as it will have to refer to what it was not to, and so on.

1 Like


[sidenote] …which is a fact the post-revolutionary continental European often is confused about… ESPECIALLY Germans, who wouldn’t shift a pencil on their desk without three signed copies of form A38, and then would shift them precisely within the acceptable confidence interval written down in a DIN.

[quote=“Richard_Kirk, post:48, topic:97217, full:true”] does not have this rule actually written down anywhere.

BUT… BUT… there is a PRECEDENT. Ruddy hell, it’s worth to be called a TRADITION! You wouldn’t just walk into Mordor, surely? Or even ask Manwë’s eagles to drop you off at Orodruin? There is a way how it’s supposed to work, and you stick with. A German would automatically ask for an order by a superior, and while I assume that Brits would rather politely ask for an opinion and then make up their mind, surely you can’t just start commenting on every UFO sighting royal bowel movement orange oral diarrhoea [s] unintelligible intelligence matter [\s] comment by a foreign spokesperson on behalf of her majesties administration?

(I read the headline above. “Will not be repeated” sounds like HM admin did put their foot down on another level, so I guess that it actually went all the way through this government…)

1 Like

GCHQ has been wiretapping people with impunity for the last ten years. The white house may well have no evidence of this but it is not any more ‘utterly ridiculous’ than the pope reading mass is.

it is overspecific. “allegations […] about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense”

a blanket denial would be “allegations about the UK wire tapping the then President Elect are nonsense”

I think it’s refreshing.


And they’re not even the worst “news” org on that list. The IRL article on Tillerson yesterday (being the only journalist allowed along for the ride)? Awful.

Great. So Obama ‘ordered’ it, then? Obama, in collusion with…England, tapped trump’s phones? That strikes me as the crux of the issue, instead of whether the UK has made the decision, within their own political structure, to tap [Americans].
And, as I’m sure you’re aware, it’s a tiny bit this side of “unusual” for a sitting prez to make false public accusations against the former prez. “Utterly ridiculous” works pretty well for me.


And even if it were true, any other president would chuckle quietly to himself that he won, anyway. Trump has to tell the world that he’s a victim, here. It’s how he operates. Everybody’s out to get him-the press, Schwarzenegger, Obama, his own staff, Syrian refugees, etc. etc.


Wasn’t it Philby who used his position inside British intelligence to spy on the US for the KGB, in which he was a full colonel? He later claimed that he shared the things he discovered with British intelligence and that his spying was directed at the US, not the UK. But then he would say that wouldn’t he?
A former colleague, now dead, who had to leave Czechoslovakia in something of a hurry when Philby left for the USSR and it was no longer necessary to pretend he had undetected agents in Eastern Europe expressed mild criticism of Philby to me on one occasion*, but it is said that he did reveal to the UK the great secret that the US was developing a Teller bomb, a fact that the supposed sharing of nuclear knowledge in WW2 had somehow omitted. I guess one benefit of having so many US bases in our country is that it is a little easier to find out what they are up to.

*involving a desire to chain him to hot water pipes and apply a blunt instrument repeatedly.

1 Like

As someone who loves Germany and on the whole likes its people*, I reject this stereotypical lazy categorisation. It is now 2017 and it would probably be an ISO or an EN incorporated into a DIN, not just a DIN. Also, surely A38 needs to be countersigned by both technical and commercial management in quintuplicate, and one of the copies filed in the A-bomb proof archive?

*Especially Magda and Elena.


Watching that is still easier than listening to him talk.

1 Like

Ah well, times change. Even “utterly ridiculous” is not what it was. What was “utterly ridiculous” a year ago is barely above background now.

1 Like

Issued by GCHQ, I wouldn’t say this is overspecific. (I’m serious on this.)