Fox News
Derek Lawrence
March 20, 2018 at 06:28 PM EDT

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters is leaving his post at Fox News, saying he’s “ashamed” to be part of a “propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”

In an email to colleagues, which was obtained by BuzzFeed, the longtime contributor shared why he’ll no longer appear on the network.

“Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer,” he wrote. “I swore to ‘support and defend the Constitution,’ and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed.”

He continued, “In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts — who have never served our country in any capacity — dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served), and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller — all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of ‘deep-state’ machinations — I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”

Peters, who was suspended in 2015 for calling then-President Barack Obama a “total p—y,” also criticized the network for “advancing” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda.

In a statement, Fox News responded to Peters’ comments: “Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programming.”

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