Under President Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden's administration, the US was spying on Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2012 to 2014, using Denmark's secret service. The scandal was exposed by Danish media, triggering a political storm. This is the second time since 2013, that the US has been accused of spying on European politicians and officials, especially Germany.
Intelligence was allegedly collected on other officials from Germany, France, Sweden and Norway. Similar allegations emerged in 2013, as per reports. Then, secrets leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged tapping of the German chancellor's phone by the NSA.
When those allegations were made, the White House gave no outright denial but said Mrs Merkel's phone was not being bugged at the time and would not be in future. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and a spokesperson for Angela Merkel have said they were not aware of Danish involvement until the DR report, which was shared with other European media over the weekend.
Code named as 'Operation Dunhammer', the US NSA, with the help of Denmark's FE, tapped into Danish internet cables to access phone conversations and text messages of several prominent European politicians.