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Rudy Giuliani has reportedly been banished from Fox News, as relations between the conservative network and Donald Trump’s inner circle continue to sour.
According to a report from Politico, the former New York mayor was cut from “Fox & Friends” morning show’s coverage of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Mr Giuliani reportedly got a call from Pete Hegseth on 10 September where the Fox host apologized and said that he couldn’t put him on.
Fox News has disputed this version of events. A spokesperson for the network denied that Mr Giuliani was scheduled to appear on “Fox & Friends” that day, but declined to comment on whether he is barred from appearing on the network in general.
According to unnamed sources who spoke to Politico, Mr Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attacks, was devastated.
“Rudy is really hurt,” one source close to Mr Giuliani said, “because he did a big favor for [Fox News founder] Rupert [Murdoch]. He was instrumental in getting Fox on Time Warner so it could be watched in New York City.”
According to Politico, the ban also extends to Mr Giuliani’s son, Andrew. Fox News denies this as well, citing Andrew’s multiple appearances on the network since he announced his run for governor of New York.
Relations between Fox News and Mr Trump’s allies have deteriorated since the 2020 presidential election. Mr Trump has insisted, falsely, that the election was stolen from him but Fox covered the outcome as all other major networks did – as a victory for Joe Biden.
In fact, Fox News called Arizona for Mr Biden before any other news network – something that infuriated Mr Trump. (An audit of the Arizona results by Republicans confirmed this week that Mr Biden had won the state by an even larger margin.)
Following the election, Fox News continued to put Mr Giuliani and other Trump allies on the air as they spread misinformation about the election, which eventually landed the network in hot water.
Two voting machine companies, Smartmatic and Dominion, have sued Fox News for defamation regarding its election coverage, demanding billions of dollars in damages. Fox News has filed motions to dismiss both lawsuits, citing First Amendment protections of free speech.
Both companies have also sued Mr Giuliani, who denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to fight the companies in court.
“Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3B will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely,” Mr Giuliani told WABC.
“The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart. It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously.”
It is not yet clear whether those lawsuits have played a role in Fox News’ alleged decision to ban Mr Giuliani.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Giuliani for comment, but has not yet heard back.