Fox News has pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano off the air over a claim he made that British intelligence wiretapped the Trump Tower during the 2016 election at the behest of former President Barack Obama.
Update: A source at Fox News, however, told Mediaite that Napolitano was not suspended from the network. More details were not provided.
Fox has not yet issued a public statement on his status as of Monday.
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times reported that Fox sources told them that Napolitano, a judge, would not appear on the air anytime in the near future. He did not appear on Fox News on Monday.
Last week, Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, told “Fox and Friends” that the Obama administration asked U.K. intelligence to wiretap Trump. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated his comment in a daily briefing and then Trump made a reference to it, saying; “All we did was quote a very talented legal mind.” He then told a journalist: “You should be talking to Fox.”
It’s unclear if Napolitano’s removal is permanent.
Specifically, Napolitano, citing unnamed sources, said the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, provided Obama of transcripts of Trump’s calls.
“By bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints,” Napolitano wrote on Fox News’ website. “Fox News has spoken to intelligence community members who believe that surveillance did occur, that it was done by British intelligence,” he also said on the air.
On Sunday’s “MediaBuzz” program, Napolitano defended his comments, saying he “reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.”