Report: Fox News Keeping Judge Andrew Napolitano Off Air After Wiretap Claims

Andrew Napolitano / AP
March 21, 2017

Fox News is keeping Judge Andrew Napolitano, the network's senior judicial analyst, off the air indefinitely following unverified comments he made last week about British intelligence wiretapping President Donald Trump, according to a report.

Napolitano said on air last Tuesday that former President Barack Obama "went outside the chain of command" to surveil Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign by using the British foreign surveillance agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. He cited three unnamed intelligence sources for his report.

GCHQ called the claim "nonsense" and "utterly ridiculous" in a statement, and Fox News anchors had to clarify that they could not back up Napolitano's assertion.

Fox News has now pulled Napolitano from the network and is keeping him off the air indefinitely, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"People familiar with the situation who could speak only on the condition of anonymity said Napolitano is not expected to be on Fox News Channel any time in the near future," the Times reported Monday.

However, a Fox News source told Mediaite that Napolitano has not been suspended from the network.

It is unclear if Napolitano not being suspended equates to him being kept off the air indefinitely.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cited Napolitano's reporting last week to support Trump's claims that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in Manhattan during the 2016 campaign.

Trump brought up the claims on Friday during his joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. When a reporter asked the president about his wiretapping accusations, Trump replied, "You shouldn’t be talking to me; you should be talking to Fox News."

Trump also called Napolitano "a very talented lawyer."

Some observers have noticed Napolitano's absence over the past week given the prominent legal news that has occurred, including the Senate confirmation hearing for Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.