Fox News has reportedly benched legal analyst Andrew Napolitano because of his claims that former President Barack Obama had used British intelligence officials to spy on President Trump.
Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, reported last week that three intelligence sources had told him that Obama went “outside the chain of command” in order to surveil the President.
“Obama would not have needed a warrant to authorize surveillance on Trump,” Napolitano wrote in a column for Fox News.
“Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer cited the claim Thursday, but the Government Communications Headquarters called the accusations “utterly ridiculous.”
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, however, said on the air that the network couldn’t confirm Napolitano’s report.
“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, full stop,” he said Friday.
On the same day, Trump praised Napolitano as a “very talented legal mind” during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox,” Trump said, “and so you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
During an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee Monday, FBI Director James Comey also denied the President’s Twitter accusation that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign.
“I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said.
Trump began the speculation with a March 4 tweet, but has not yet provided any evidence.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he wrote.
With News Wire Services