AG Barr Reportedly Pressed Rupert Murdoch To ‘Muzzle’ Trump Critic On Fox News
According to a new book by CNN reporter Brian Stelter, Attorney General William Barr met with media mogul Rupert Murdoch last year in an attempt to have him “muzzle” Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, who has been critical of President Trump.
- HuffPost reported that “Barr’s meeting with Murdoch, the executive chairman of Fox News’ parent company, at his New York home was widely reported at the time, but its purpose was not revealed,” also noting that “Napolitano’s air time has dwindled as his criticism of Trump has increased over the last year.”
- Stelter write in his book, “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” that one goal of the meeting was to “shut up Napolitano,” as HuffPost put it.
Trump “was so incensed” by Napolitano’s increasingly critical comments about him in Fox News broadcasts that he “implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge,’” according to the book, reported The Guardian, which obtained a copy. Trump “wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been,” wrote Stelter, citing information from an unnamed source.
- According to HuffPost, “Napolitano, a former New Jersey superior court judge, reportedly told friends early in 2019 that he was on Trump’s “short list” for the U.S. Supreme Court”; however, “when news emerged later that year of Trump’s phone call pressing Ukraine’s president to launch an investigation into baseless accusations against Joe Biden, Napolitano called the president’s actions both ‘criminal and impeachable.’”
- Napolitano had also said that much of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation was “also impeachable.”
- Stelter wrote that Barr’s words “carried a lot of weight” with the Fox News founder, and he noted that “A daytime slot for Napolitano soon disappeared and he was carved out of coverage of Trump’s impeachment,” HuffPost wrote.
- The outlet also noted that Napolitano has blasted Barr as “Stalinistic.”