A commentator working for the Fox News Channel has been sidelined by the cable network in a tussle over allegations of wiretapping of Donald Trump by Barack Obama. The New York Times reports that Andrew Napolitano, the senior legal analyst for FNC, was pulled off the air.
“Last week, Mr. Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, reported on the morning show ‘Fox and Friends’ that the Obama administration had asked British intelligence to wiretap Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign,” The Times reports. “The claim was forgotten nearly as quickly as it was stated until Mr. Spicer repeated it in a news briefing later in the week. Mr. Trump then brought it up again on Friday, saying, ‘All we did was quote a very talented legal mind.’”
Fox later denounced Napolitano’s allegation. The Times quotes Fox News daytime anchor Shepard Smith saying on Friday: “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way. Full stop.”
The Times report notes: “Mr. Napolitano did not appear on Fox on Monday, even though there were two news events that normally would have called for his services: hearings involving the FBI director James B. Comey, and the Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch.”
It was not clear how long Napolitano will be off the air.