The Canadian government has put out a statement calling on the U.S. to “refute” Donald Trump’s claims that Canada is being used by President Barack Obama’s government to spy on Canadians.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement said the assertion is “completely false” and “highly misleading.”
“Canada’s foreign and security policy is based on mutual respect and cooperation with our neighbours,” the statement read.
“We strongly condemn the president’s statements.”
Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of Canada’s intelligence, calling it “weak” and calling the country’s spy agencies “very weak.”
Canada has long been criticized for its spy capabilities and has long complained about the U to spy.
Trump has said the U is not interested in listening to his calls, or monitoring his activities in the United States.
“If they were listening in to my conversations, they would know I’m not the president of the United State,” Trump said in his first news conference after taking office on Jan. 20.
In a statement Wednesday, Canada’s Department of National Defence said the statement was “clearly meant to attack” Trump’s “doubts and concerns.”
“The statements made by the U of S are completely false,” the department said.
“They are a thinly veiled attack on Canada’s military and our foreign intelligence capabilities, which is what we need to continue to work towards.”
The statement said Canada “has repeatedly and strongly condemned” the U’s actions.
“The Canadian government’s position is clear: Canada’s relationship with the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and others is based not on spying but on respect for human rights and mutual respect,” the DND said.
The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement: “We are grateful for the assurances the government has provided, and continue to cooperate with the government on issues related to the security of our allies and partners.”
The DND’s statement follows the release of the latest report by a U.N. panel of experts into allegations of U.