“Alt-Right” Outlets And Fake News Purveyors Hype Fox Analyst's Claim That Obama Wiretapped The Supreme Court

››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

“Alt-right” fringe outlets and fake news purveyors are hyping an unsubstantiated suggestion from Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano that the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia thought former President Barack Obama spied on the Supreme Court. Napolitano previously pushed the false claim that British intelligence spied on President Donald Trump on behalf of Obama.

Discussing Rand Paul Surveillance Request, Fox’s Napolitano Suggests Scalia Thought Obama Was Surveilling Supreme Court

CNN: Sen. Rand Paul Asks If Obama Administration Surveilled Him. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “sent a formal request to the White House and the House and Senate intelligence committees for information about whether he had ever been surveliled (sic) by the Obama administration,” according to CNN. Paul was referring to “a report from Circa,” an outlet owned by the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, “on NSA surveillance during the Obama administration.” From the May 5 article:

Sen. Rand Paul announced Friday that he has sent a formal request to the White House and the House and Senate intelligence committees for information about whether he had ever been surveliled (sic) by the Obama administration -- apparently in response to a report this week on National Security Agency policies under the former administration.

"I have formally requested from the WH and the Intel Committees info on whether I was surveilled by the Obama admin and or the Intel Community!" Paul wrote on Twitter, the third in a series of tweets Friday morning that linked to a report from Circa on NSA surveillance during the Obama administration.

Paul did not provide any evidence to show he was a target of surveillance, and nothing in the article he shared directly suggested that he was. CNN has reached out to President Barack Obama's representatives and have not yet received a response. [CNN.com, 5/5/17]

Fox’s Andrew Napolitano: Justice Scalia Told Me “Four Or Five Years Ago” That He Thought The Supreme Court “Was Being Surveilled.”​ Discussing Paul’s accusations against the Obama administration, Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed they were “likely true” and added that Supreme Court “Justice [Antonin] Scalia told me he often thought that the court was being surveilled and he told me that probably about four or five years ago.” From the May 15 edition of Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria Bartiromo:

MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): Let's kick it off right now with that controversy surrounding the Obama-era unmasking of U.S. senators. Senator Rand Paul telling me last week on Fox News he was caught up in the surveillance and that he wasn't the only member of the Senate to receive that news.

[...]

Judge, these are very strong accusations. Your thoughts.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Well, they're most likely true. I mean -- think of this as a three-step process. Surveillance, which is the acquisition in a digital version of every keystroke in every computer and every communication and every cell phone and landline phone; storage, which is the maintenance of the digital version of these communications; and then unmasking, which is accessing this data and finding out the names of the people who were actually surveilled. So it is beyond dispute that the NSA has access to -- if it wants, it would be unlawful for them to do this, but they have it -- every phone call of every person in the United States of America since 2005. Takes us back to a Republican administration, George W. Bush, 2005, which is when this program began. Justice [Antonin] Scalia told me he often thought that the court was being surveilled and he told me that probably about four or five years ago.

BARTIROMO: Wow.

NAPOLITANO: Again, surveillance -- acquisition of information. Unmasking -- accessing information. [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 5/15/17]

Napolitano Previously Caused International Incident With Bogus Claim That British Spied On Trump On Obama’s Behalf. Napolitano previously claimed that British intelligence illegally wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election on behalf of former President Barack Obama. The claim was debunked by British officials and caused an international incident with the U.K. after White House press secretary Sean Spicer used Napolitano’s claim to back up Trump’s false claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Napolitano was briefly forced off air as a result, but later came back on and stood by his false claim. In April, fringe outlets and some traditional right-wing media falsely claimed reports that British intelligence told their U.S. counterparts about contacts between Russia and Trump’s campaign vindicated Napolitano’s bogus claim. [Media Matters, 3/29/17, 4/14/17]

“Alt-Right” Fringe Outlets And Fake News Purveyors Hype Napolitano’s Claim

Infowars: “Justice Antonin Scalia Believed Obama Spied On Supreme Court.” Infowars, pointing to Napolitano, wrote, “The Obama administration had the Supreme Court under surveillance, late Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly believed.” [Infowars, 5/16/17]

The Gateway Pundit: Napolitano “Dropped A Bomb On The Obama Administration Spying On The US Supreme Court.” The Gateway Pundit wrote that Napolitano “dropped a bomb on the Obama administration spying on the US Supreme Court” with his claim. [The Gateway Pundit, 5/15/17]

WND: Napolitano Said “Scalia Thought He Was Being Surveilled.” WorldNetDaily wrote that Napolitano claimed “Scalia suspected the Obama administration was spying on him,” and that Scalia’s death in 2016 “was declared” to be due to “natural causes amid speculation of foul play.” From the May 16 article:

The late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia suspected the Obama administration was spying on him, said Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News senior judicial analyst.

“Justice Scalia told me that he often thought the court was being surveilled. And he told me that probably four or five years ago,” Napolitano told the FOX Business Network on Monday.

Scalia died in his sleep in February 2016 while on a hunting trip at a luxury Texas resort. He was declared dead of natural causes amid speculation of foul play. [WorldNetDaily, 5/16/17]

Political Insider: Napolitano Made His Claim Because “It’s The Truth.” Fake news purveyor Political Insider wrote that there must be “some records somewhere” to support Napolitano’s claim. It added that Napolitano “wouldn’t have said it to gain points with anyone, he said it because it’s the truth” and that “there was nobody more corrupt than Obama.” From the May 15 article:

Judge Andrew Napolitano is as good as his word. A couple of months ago, Fox News suspended him because they thought he was giving out inaccurate information about British Intelligence helping Barack Obama spy on Americans when he was President.

When Napolitano came back from suspension, he was asked if he would change his story, and he said no. Not even a week later, CNN reported a British intel agency gave Obama data, just like Napolitano has previously said.

[...]

Napolitano now added even more fuel to the fire: he claims that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told him that he felt the court was being surveilled “often.”

There have to be some records somewhere to back this claim up. The federal bureaucracy couldn’t have destroyed all that paperwork and cleaned up their tracks. There’s got to be proof somewhere.

[...]

Did you hear Maria Bartiromo say “wow?” That’s how I felt when I heard the news. Napolitano wouldn’t have said it to gain points with anyone, he said it because it’s the truth. Power corrupts and there was nobody more corrupt than Obama. [Political Insider, 5/15/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

American News: “Shocking Evidence Leaks That Proves Obama Was Doing Something Sickening.” Fake news purveyor American News, in a May 16 piece headlined “Shocking Evidence Leaks That Proves Obama Was Doing Something Sickening,” claimed that Napolitano “shocked the nation when he asserted that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told him Barack Obama had put the highest court under surveillance.” [American News, 5/16/16; Media Matters, 1/15/17]

Washington Feed: “Napolitano Reveals Possible Extent Of Surveillance Under Obama.” Fake news purveyor The Washington Feed wrote that, according to Napolitano, “Surveillance during the Obama administration might have even reached the Supreme Court.” [The Washington Feed, 5/17/16; Snopes.com, 1/18/17]

America’s Freedom Fighters: Napolitano’s Claim Shows “Leftist Muslim” Obama “Surveilled” Scalia And “Assassinated” Him. Fake news purveyor America’s Freedom Fighters claimed Napolitano’s claim showed that Scalia “WAS NOT ONLY SURVEILLED BY THIS LEFTIST MUSLIM BUT WAS ASSASSINATED BY THE OBAMA REGIME.” From the May 15 article (emphasis original):

It’s common sense and well known that Obama and his cronies illegally surveilled Trump and, Rand Paul and other Republican presidential candidates but the fact is that Obama’s illegal activities go much further. It seems like Obama was illegally listening in on the Supreme Court Justices!

This is UNBELIEVABLE!

The circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have many of us wondering if there was foul play involved. A lot of details just don’t add up and the timing of the death at such a critical point in Obama’s ‘destruction of America’ agenda leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

[...]

But Napolitano also dropped a bombshell on the Obama administration spying on the US Supreme Court.

[...]

WHOA! THAT IS HUGE! HE WAS NOT ONLY SURVEILLED BY THIS LEFTIST MUSLIM BUT WAS ASSASSINATED BY THE OBAMA REGIME.

HE HAD A PILLOW OVER HIS FACE WHEN HE WAS DISCOVERED DEAD.

THERE WAS NO AUTOPSY. [America’s Freedom Fighters, 5/15/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

Mad World News: “Napolitano Drops Bomb, Reveals What Scalia Knew About Obama Before Dying.” Fake news purveyor Mad World News claimed that Napolitano’s remark was a “bombshell” and that Scalia “died under suspicious circumstances.” From the May 17 article (emphasis original):

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano sat down with FOX Business Network on Monday to discuss the very serious allegations that Senator Rand Paul and another senator were placed under surveillance by the Obama administration. However, Napolitano ended up dropping an even bigger bombshell about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died under suspicious circumstances.

[...]

However, that’s not the only bombshell Judge Nap dropped. Napolitano went on to reveal that Justice Scalia also believed he and other judges on the Supreme Court were being surveilled. “Justice Scalia told me he often thought the court was being surveilled. And he told me that probably four or five years ago,” he said.

Justice Antonin Scalia, the most noted conservative on the bench, was found dead with a pillow over his face, leading many to suggest foul play was involved in his demise. Adding to suspicions was the fact that no autopsy was ever performed to discover his true cause of his death. [Mad World News, 5/17/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

TruthFeed: Napolitano’s Claim Shows Obama “Weaponized America’s Intel Agencies And Turned Them Against Us.” In an article discussing Napolitano’s remarks, fake news purveyor TruthFeed claimed that Obama “weaponized America’s intel agencies and turned them against us” and was “hell-bent on delivering a gigantic dose of revenge against detractors.” From the May 16 article:

The now deceased Justice Antonin Scalia believed the SCOTUS was under surveillance by former President Obama.

Obama, who stands accused of a slew of wiretapping incidents, weaponized America’s intel agencies and turned them against us.

Intelligence agencies like CIA, NSA, and even the FBI were used as pawns in Obama’s war on conservatives.

The Obama administration was hell-bent on delivering a gigantic dose of revenge against detractors.

[...]

During his stint on the bench, Justice Scalia confided in Fox News contributor Judge Anthony Napolitano that he believed Obama was surveilling the SCOTUS. [TruthFeed, 5/16/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

Angry Patriot: Napolitano’s Claim Shows The “Radical Left Wants Us To Live In A Surveillance State.” Fake news purveyor The Angry Patriot claimed that Napolitano’s remark showed that “we cannot even go to court without worrying about government overreach” because the “radical Left wants us to live in a surveillance state, so they can punish us for our thoughts.” From the May 16 article:

Before Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, he told his friend, Judge Napolitano, something disturbing. Judge Napolitano said, “Justice Scalia told me that he often thought the court was being surveilled.” Wow, even the courts are being monitored? (via The Gateway Pundit).

After eight years of toxic Obama policies, we cannot even go to court without worrying about government overreach. The radical Left wants us to live in a surveillance state, so they can punish us for our thoughts.

What kind of country are we living in? Is there any privacy left? We cannot even speak freely anymore, patriots. Even judges are being monitored. [The Angry Patriot, 5/16/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

USA Politics Today: “Trump Was Just The Tip! Late Justice Scalia Believed Obama Was Surveilling Supreme Court!” Fake news purveyor USA Politics Today claimed that Napolitano’s remark showed that “Trump was not the only political figure that was unmasked,” and added that “Obama could have been surveilling the SUPREME COURT as well!” From the May 15 article:

Judge Andrew Napolitano made another appearance on Fox News to talk about the potential of the NSA to surveil US citizens and something even more extreme.

Judge Napolitano broke down the situation as a multi step process where the first was surveillance or the gathering of the information with the final step being unmasking, which Susan Rice claimed was commonplace under the Obama Administration.

It appears the President Trump was not the only political figure that was unmasked during the election with Senator Rand Paul believing that he was also unmasked by the Obama Administration and now there is a new development in Obamagate.

[...]

Obama could have been surveilling the SUPREME COURT as well!

Where does this stop?! [USA Politics Today, 5/15/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox Business, Fox News Channel
Person
Andrew Napolitano
Show/Publication
WND, Infowars, Gateway Pundit, Mornings With Maria Bartiromo
Stories/Interests
Alt-Right, Fake News
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