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Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano has reportedly been pulled from the air amidst controversy caused by his comments claiming that British intelligence wiretapped Donald Trump’s phones on behalf of former President Barack Obama, according to reports from the Los Angeles Times.
Judge Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst for Fox News and former New Jersey Superior Court judge, caused a stir last week when he claimed that the British foreign surveillance agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, “most likely” recorded Trump’s phone calls and provided written transcripts to Obama.
“Obama would not have needed a warrant to authorize surveillance on Trump,” Napolitano wrote in a column for Fox News last week. “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.”
The GCHQ called Napolitano’s claims “utterly ridiculous” and insisted they “should be ignored.”
On Monday, Napolitano was absent during the network’s coverage of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The judge hasn’t been seen on the network since his column ran last Thursday.
Trump had recently referred to Napolitano as a “very talented lawyer” during a news conference on Friday with German chancellor Angela Merkel where the president was asked about the wiretapping claims. “You shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox News,” Trump said.
However, on that same day Fox News anchor Shepard Smith denied Napolitano’s claim, distancing the network from the unverified reports of British collusion and espionage. “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,” Smith told viewers on his show on Friday.
A request for comment from Fox News was not immediately returned.
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