It’s been a crazy busy news day, so it might have been a good time to make a quiet personnel move. Sources confirm to Deadline that Fox News has removed its senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano from its airwaves for at least the near future in the wake of Donald Trump citing him as the source of the wiretap story POTUS tweet-ranted about a couple of weeks ago, and Napolitano’s claim that British intelligence was involved.
Napolitano has been MIA on FNC’s air since Thursday and normally would have been called upon on a day when the top U.S. intelligence officials testified before a congressional panel and Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings began. CNN’s Brian Stelter was among those who took notice:
SCOTUS confirmation hearing.
FBI director testimony.
Busy day for TV legal analysts.
So where's Judge Napolitano?
He's not on Fox News…
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 20, 2017
During his joint news conference with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, Trump was grilled by a German reporter about whether the president regretted the White House having claimed that President Barack Obama had wiretapped him during the campaign, and if he now thought it was a mistake to have said Brit intelligence was involved. Trump’s reply: “We said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind, who was the one responsible for saying that on television.”
That would be Napolitano.
“That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox,” Trump added Friday, “and so you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
Well, Fox has spoken.
The confirmation comes the same day that FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the Bureau has “found no evidence whatsoever to support [the] slanderous accusation” that Obama ordered Trump Tower wiretapped during the campaign last year.