Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano responded to President Trump’s weekend Twitter attacks on Monday morning, denying that he asked the president for a Supreme Court spot while joking about the way Trump treats his long-time friends.
On Saturday night, the president took to Twitter to fire shots at Napolitano, who recently has said Trump is guilty of committing obstruction of justice and that the president’s behavior was “deceptive and repellent.”
“Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of ‘Judge’ Andrew Napolitano,” Trump wrote, referencing Dershowitz’s Friday night appearance on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle.
“Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend. A good ‘pal’ of low ratings Shepard Smith,” he concluded, taking an additional shot at Fox News anchor Shep Smith.
Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, Napolitano humorously noted that if “this is the way you treat your friends, how do you treat your enemies?,” prompting host Maria Bartiromo to ask whether Napolitano pushed for a Supreme Court position or a pardon for a friend.
Napolitano explained that he met with then-President-Elect Trump to discuss possible replacements for Antonin Scalia’s spot on the bench. While the judge claimed he was describing Neil Gorsuch during their conversations, Trump felt he was talking about himself and eventually asked him “why I should put you on” the Supreme Court.
“I gave him the spiel, someone else in the room said ‘That’s interesting, the judge is long in the tooth,’ to which the president said blank you to the person who said the judge is long in the tooth,” the Fox News analyst stated. “‘I’m four years older than the judge and I’m about to become president.’ It was that kind of conversation.”
In March 2017, Politico reported that Napolitano had told friends he was on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist, noting at the time that he met with Trump twice during the transition.
As far as the pardon situation, Napolitano said they talked about a “mutual friend” of theirs and Trump was the one who asked him about the person’s conviction and whether it was just. According to the judge, Trump disagreed with the conviction and told him to call the person up and let him know he was going to be on the list of pardons he’d consider.
Napolitano concluded by calling the president’s broadside against him “brilliant” because Trump wanted to draw attention away from the Mueller report’s findings and Napolitano’s commentary about them.
“His relationship with me is not the story,” he added. “We’ve been friends for 30 years and probably will be for the next 30 years.”
Since the president’s tweets on Saturday night, Fox News itself has remained mum about Trump’s criticisms and allegations against its senior analyst. MediaBuzz, the network’s Sunday morning media analysis show, did not address it at all and the network has not provided comment on it.