Fox News suspends Judge Andrew Napolitano over Trump wiretapping claims

Posted Марта 21, 2017

Fox News did not respond to inquiries about Napolitano's status Monday.

The LA Times reported Napolitano has been off the air since Thursday and is not expected to return any time in the near future.

Former Judge and Fox News Channel legal analyst Andrew Napolitano is out. Shortly before inauguration day, Napolitano had a one-on-one meeting with Trump about Supreme Court nomination possibilities.

The move would distance Fox News from allegations that the British as well as National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers have denounced as false. But before he ran for office, Trump was the most fervent critic of the fact that President Barack Obama regularly hit the links with friends, aides and advisers, arguing that it showed the president was unserious about fixing America's problems.

After President Trump's wiretapping claims and the likelihood that proof of former President Obama's involvement wouldn't be forthcoming, Napolitano seemingly added fuel to the fire by claiming that unnamed sources told him that the British foreign surveillance agency "most likely" served as an untraceable intermediary between Obama and then-candidate Trump's recorded calls.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended Trump's golfing, saying the president has used the outings not just for personal pleasure but to do business, pointing to his outing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, on February 11.

In response, GCHQ, usually silent on intelligence matters, sharply denied that it had engaged in any of the activities described by Napolitano.

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"We have to work", Trump said at that time. "They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored". 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 that on television", he said.

Asked how Trump's golf outings were different from Obama's, Spicer said: "You saw him utilize this as a opportunity with Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe to help foster deeper relationships in Southeast Asia, in Asia rather, and have a growing relationship that's going to help USA interests".

Fox News, however, did no such thing, forcing its anchors to walk back Napolitano's statement.

Instead, Johnson said he floated the gist of what would become Napolitano's report - that the British were gathering information on Trump and passing it to the United States - during an interview with RT, the news network funded by the Russian government.

Fox's Shepard Smith, on the air Friday afternoon, quickly stepped the network away from Napolitano's claim.

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