NEW YORK, N.Y. — Conservative commentator and former Superior Court judge Andrew Napolitano has been banned indefinitely from Fox News amid his allegations that a British intelligence agency had wiretapped Trump Tower, according to a report published on Tuesday by the L.A. Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-napolitano-fox-news-20170320-story.html) .
Napolitano, who appeared as a regular on the Fox News network as a legal and political analyst, claimed the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spied on Trump at former President Barack Obama‘s behest during an appearance on the network last week.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer quoted Napolitano’s comments last week while defending the president’s claims that Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped last fall, just before the election.
“Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement, quote, ‘Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command,’” Spicer said during a daily press briefing.“’He didn’t use the [National Security Agency], he didn’t use the CIA … he used GCHQ.’”
In a statement, the GCHQ quickly denied Napolitano’s claim that it helped surveil Trump under Obama’s orders in 2016.
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense,” said a spokesman for the agency.
On March 4, president Trump first raised the allegations against Obama via a tweet in which he claimed the 44th president had tapped Trump tower in an attempt at political gain.
“Nothing found,” Trump tweeted. “This is McCarthyism!”
Trump, too, cited Napolitano’s comments when asked about the matter on Friday during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We said nothing,” Trump said of Napolitano’s claim. “I didn’t make an opinion on it. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television,” Trump said.
“That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox [News]. And so you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
In a statement read on the Fox program “MediaBuzz” on Sunday, Napolitano defended his comments. The former judge said he “reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.”
A spokesperson for Fox News declined to comment on this story.