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Posted: March 17, 2017

President Trump's reference to wiretapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel draws gasps, laughs

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17:  U.S. President Donald Trump (R) holds a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House on March 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The two leaders discussed strengthening NATO, fighting the Islamic State group, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and held a roundtable discussion with German business leaders during their first face-to-face meeting.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) holds a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House on March 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The two leaders discussed strengthening NATO, fighting the Islamic State group, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and held a roundtable discussion with German business leaders during their first face-to-face meeting. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. —

President Donald Trump on Friday referred to a 2013 incident in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cellphone was under surveillance by members of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

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Trump mentioned the wiretapping during a news conference with Merkel in Washington, D.C.

Over the last few weeks, the Trump administration has danced around the president’s since-debunked claims that he was wiretapped by the previous administration while he was running for president.

When he was asked if he wanted to take back those claims, or recent claims that he had been under surveillance by British intelligence, Trump referred to the Obama administration’s surveillance of Merkel.

“As far as wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump said.

RELATED: Stop laughing: The Trump team’s surveillance fears aren’t crazy in a post-Snowden world

Despite claims from British intelligence that it never spied on the president, President Trump didn’t take back his claim.

Trump deferred questions about whether he was under surveillance by British intelligence to Fox News judicial analyst and former judge, Andrew Napolitano.

Shepard Smith responded Friday afternoon, saying: 

“Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-President of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop.”


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