Fox News has pulled Judge Andrew Napolitano from the network after he helped fuel President Donald Trump’s absurd wiretapping claims last week.
Napolitano may have thought his speculation that President Barack Obama sought help from British intelligence to spy on Trump went virtually unnoticed. However, as it turns out, White House press secretary Sean Spicer picked up on that little tidbit and proceeded to cite Napolitano’s words during an official press briefing.
Spicer received critical backlash for repeating the unconfirmed reports, particularly from the British government, which demanded an apology.
Later in the week, Napolitano’s report came up again during a joint press conference with Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president suggested that a German reporter ask Fox News about the debacle instead of him.
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith later responded by saying, “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, in any way. Full stop.”
Following all of the chaos, Napolitano has mysteriously gone missing from the network since last Thursday.
CNN commentator Brian Stelter drew attention to Napolitano’s absence on Monday during the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.
I've asked Fox about Napolitano's status... no response... but he's conspicuously absent today.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 20, 2017
As Uproxx points out, Napolitano would have been an ideal analyst to cover the committee’s opening remarks and Gorsuch’s testimony considering he was a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, yet he was missing in action.
Neither the network nor Napolitano have offered any official statements regarding the future of his place at Fox News, but as it currently stands, they’ve put him on a much-needed time-out.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters