SiriusXM satellite radio said Tuesday that it has suspended Glenn Beck's morning show for at least a week and may not bring it back after Beck agreed with a guest who made comments widely interpreted as supporting the assassination of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
"SiriusXM encourages a diversity of discourse and opinion on our talk programs," the company said in a statement.
"However, comments recently made by a guest on the independently produced Glenn Beck Program, in our judgement, may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone," it said.
Brad Thor, author of numerous best-selling thrillers — including one titled "Path of the Assassin" — likened Trump to a South American dictator on Beck's show May 25 and said that if Trump were to become president and turn out to be a tyrant, illegal means might be required to remove him from office.
"With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as president?" Thor asked in the 15-minute interview, the full audio of which was obtained by NBC News.
"If Congress won't remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president. If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office?" Thor continued, adding:
"And I don't think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office, because you won't be able to do it through Congress."
Beck responded: "I would agree with you on that, and I don't think you actually have the voices — we've been talking about, we've been talking about this off-air for a while."
Thor's comments drew harsh criticism on social media and conservative news sites, where he was widely accused of having called for Trump's assassination.
Later that day, Beck posted on Facebook: "That is NOT what he meant, nor is it what we thought. How evil do you have to be to think this?"
Tuesday, Beck's website, The Blaze, quoted Thor as denying that he was referring to assassination and saying he was simply discussing a "hypothetical America under a dictator."
It said he added: "If we had to unseat a president without the backing of the Congress, we would need a patriot along the lines of George Washington to lead the country from tyranny back to liberty."