Britain's GCHQ was conducting routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets when it discovered communications with members of Trump's team.
Britain's GCHQ was conducting routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets when it discovered communications with members of Trump's team.

Britain's GCHQ first blew the whistle on suspicious communications between people connected to Donald Trump and Russian operatives and alerted U.S. intelligence agencies in a routine information exchange, the Guardian reported.

For six months after the initial discovery, intelligence agencies in the West, including those in Germany and Poland, as well Australia, continued to share information. GCHQ, which had been accused by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer of spying on Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama, was not targeting members of Team Trump when they discovered the suspicious activity, but rather were doing routine surveillance of Russian intelligence operatives, the report said.

GCHQ spokesperson called Spicer's claims “utterly ridiculous” and said they “should be ignored.”

The Guardian cited an unnamed source as saying, “It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep. They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.'”