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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The White House has promised to stop repeating a claim that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters helped Obama wiretap Trump Tower, per the BBC. In a press briefing earlier this week, WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer quoted Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News analyst:

"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. He used GCHQ."

The claims prompted a sharp rebuke from GCHQ — which described the claims as "utterly ridiculous" and "nonsense." And Susan Rice, National Security Adviser for former president Barack Obama, tweeted: "The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something this consequential cannot be overstated."

Note: The Senate intelligence committee announced yesterday that there are "no indications" of wiretapping before or after the November election.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.