Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA)
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By Joe Flint
Fox News is temporarily benching its legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge, over his unconfirmed report last week that British intelligence had wiretapped Trump Tower for President Barack Obama, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Usually a frequent contributor, Mr. Napolitano hasn't appeared on Fox News since Thursday, when he made the comments.
The commentary was cited by the White House as it continues to make the case that President Obama was trying to sabotage the Trump campaign. The British intelligence agency GCHQ, which rarely makes public statements, said last week the assertion by Mr. Napolitano was "utterly ridiculous."
Fox News also attempted to distance itself from Mr. Napolitano's remarks with anchor Shepard Smith saying on-air Friday that the channel could not confirm the commentary and "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."
Mr. Napolitano could not immediately be reached for comment.
His removal from the air may not be for very long, the person close to the situation said. In fact, it is possible that Mr. Napolitano could return to the network as early as later this week, the person said.
Fox News parent 21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp. share common ownership.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 20, 2017 23:35 ET (03:35 GMT)
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