Fox News has reportedly pulled Andrew Napolitano from the air indefinitely after he made claims that a British intelligence agency had wiretapped Trump Tower.
Napolitano, a Fox News analyst, is not scheduled to appear on the network in the near future, the Los Angeles Times reported, according to people familiar with the situation.
Last week, Napolitano made the claims about the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spying on Trump at former President Barack Obama’s behest.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer then quoted Napolitano’s remarks while defending the president’s claims earlier this month that the former president had wiretapped Trump Tower before the election. “Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement, quote, ‘Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command,’” Spicer said during a daily press briefing last week.
“‘He didn’t use the [National Security Agency], he didn’t use the CIA … he used GCHQ.’”
GCHQ rejected Napolitano’s claims that it helped surveil Trump for Obama in 2016.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense,” said a spokesman for the agency, which rarely comments publicly on its operations.
The president last Friday praised Napolitano during a press conference as a “very talented legal mind.”
“We said nothing,” Trump said when asked about the former judge’s claims. “I didn’t make an opinion on it.”
“All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television,” Trump said.
“That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox [News]. And so you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
Fox News host Shepard Smith also denied Friday that his network has information validating Napolitano’s remarks, saying the network knows of “no evidence of any kind that the now-President of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way.”