Netanyahu denies Politico report Israel spying on the White House

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly denied a report that his country was spying on the US.

A Politico article cites three former senior US officials who say Israel was likely to be behind surveillance devices found near the White House.

But a statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office said this was “a blatant lie”.

“There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government not to engage in any intelligence operations in the US.”

President Donald Trump, asked by reporters on Thursday about the report, said he did not believe Israel was spying on the US.

“I really would find that hard to believe, my relationship with Israel has been great,” Mr Trump said, citing the end of the Iran nuclear deal and his administration’s controversial decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“I wouldn’t believe that story. Anything’s possible but I don’t believe it.”