Fox News host Shepard Smith said on Friday afternoon that the network's news division was unable to confirm a report from an analyst who said earlier this week President Barack Obama sought help from British intelligence to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump.
"Fox News cannot confirm Judge [Andrew] Napolitano's commentary," Smith said. "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."
Video of Fox News saying it has "no evidence" of Trump's claim --> pic.twitter.com/azru9E2bkX— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) March 17, 2017
Napolitano, appearing on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, said "three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command" and requested the UK's Government Communication Headquarters track Trump.
"They have 24/7 access to the NSA database," Napolitano said on Tuesday. "So by simply having two people go to them saying, ‘President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving president-elect Trump,’ he’s able to get it, and there’s no American fingerprints on this.”
Under pressure, Fox News responded through Smith's commentary. A spokesperson said the matter would also be addressed on shows later in the evening.
Citing flimsy reports from right-wing sources, Trump claimed earlier this month that Obama wiretapped him, a claim that has been flatly rejected by officials throughout the US government.
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Thursday that they saw no indication Trump Tower was subject of surveillance "by any element of the United States government before or after Election Day 2016."
Trump, who still has no evidence to support his sensational claim, has yet to issue an apology or retraction.
More From Business Insider