Barr asked Rupert Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Fox News commentator Napolitano, book claims
Attorney General William Barr allegedly told Rupert Murdoch to “muzzle” Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano during a meeting last year, according to a forthcoming book written by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter.
The book, titled, “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” is set to be released Tuesday. It claims that Barr made the request to Murdoch during a meeting at the media mogul’s New York home in October 2019, the Guardian reported.
Stelter, citing an unnamed source in his forthcoming book, claims that the president was “was so incensed by the judge’s TV broadcasts that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge’. [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.”
Napolitano has previously knocked the president.
Earlier this year, he slammed the Trump administration for sending federal law enforcement to Portland amid violent protests in the city, with the analyst calling the move “unconstitutional” and “just plain wrong.”
Napolitano called Trump’s acquittal during his impeachment proceedings in the Senate a “personal victory” for the president but a “legal assault on the Constitution,” among other criticisms during Trump’s time in office.
The CNN reporter added that Barr’s message “carried a lot of weight,” but “no one was explicitly told to take Napolitano off the air,” according to the Guardian.
However, Stelter claims that Napolitano was not included in some coverage of the impeachment proceedings against the president, amid other changes at the outlet.
The 2019 meeting between Barr and Murdoch was reported at the time, though it remained unclear what was specifically discussed.
Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec denied the report as “false” on Twitter on Saturday.
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