Ex-Fox News Analyst 'Blocked From Speaking' on Russia Because He Wouldn't 'Unswervingly Support' Trump, He Says

Updated | Ralph Peters, who recently walked away after a long stint as a Fox News analyst, accused the network on Friday of blocking him from speaking on Russia issues because he refused to "unswervingly support" President Donald Trump.

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post Friday, the retired lieutenant colonel claimed he was the only person on the Fox payroll who was trained in Russian studies and the language, and that had met Russian intelligence officers in person.

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But dating back to fall 2016, when national security issues surrounded Trump, Peters said he was "increasingly blocked from speaking" on Russian affairs and the intelligence community, despite being an expert.

"I did not hide my views at Fox and, as word spread that I would not unswervingly support President Trump and, worse, that I believed an investigation into Russian interference was essential to our national security, I was excluded from segments that touched on Vladimir Putin's possible influence on an American president, his campaign or his administration," Peters wrote.

Peters said he was only rarely allowed to comment on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin targeted Trump. As special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments hit, he could not even talk about how Russians operate.

"Fox never tried to put words in my mouth, nor was I told explicitly that I was taboo on Trump-Putin matters," Peters wrote. "I simply was no longer called on for topics central to my expertise."

He also said that Fox's prime-time lineup "preaches paranoia, attacking processes and institutions vital to our republic and challenging the rule of law." Fox suspended Peters for a couple of weeks in 2015 for using profanity to bash ex-President Barack Obama.

“As a retired military officer, I simply could not continue with Fox in good conscience,” longtime Fox analyst Ralph Peters tells me. His letter, denouncing the network as “a mere propaganda machine,” is here: https://t.co/PRjp7gRcW9

— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) March 20, 2018

Peters, who did not renew his contract on March 1, said the only reason he stayed as a contributor for so long was the "seductive" opportunity to reach millions of Americans.

"I rationalized that I could make a difference by remaining at Fox and speaking honestly," Peters wrote. "I was wrong."

A Fox News spokesperson in an emailed statement to Newsweek Friday afternoon said: "There is no truth to the notion that Ralph Peters was 'blocked' from appearing on the network to talk about the major headlines, including discussing Russia, North Korea and even gun control recently. In fact, he appeared across both networks multiple times in just the past three weeks."

This story has been updated with a comment from Fox News.