Fox News pulled senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano off the air indefinitely following growing controversy over his dubious claim that Barack Obama used the British intelligence services to wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election, the LA Times reports.
Napolitano made the claim last Tuesday, in an interview with “Fox and Friends.”
“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command,” Napolitano said. “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 [Government Communications Headquarters].”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 14, 2017
A spokesman for the GCHQ immediately rejected Napolitano’s claim, but that didn’t stop White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from citing the judge last Thursday at a press conference. Trump similarly repeated the claim Friday at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“You shouldn’t be talking to me; you should be talking to Fox News,” Trump said when asked about those unsubstantiated claims
Fox News host Shep Smith refused to let Trump deflect blame for citing Napolitano’s comments, telling his audience on Friday, “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way.”
On Sunday’s “MediaBuzz,” Napolitano stood by his comments, insisting he “reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.”
Sources with knowledge of the decision too the LA Times Napolitano is not expected to be on Fox News in the near future.