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LightSquared Founder Denies Ties With WH, Political Favors

FOX News reports: Philip Falcone, majority shareholder in LightSquared, joined Megyn Kelly to respond to criticism that the FCC may have given the company a waiver that was politically motivated. LightSquared is trying to roll out a powerful new wireless system that some say interferes with military GPS systems and airline safety.

The story dates back to February of 2005 when Obama invested his own money in a company called SkyTerra, which would later become LightSquared. In January of 2011, the FCC gave the green light to LightSquared to expand wireless internet bandwidth, a move that some say was due to the fact that LightSquared was greasing the wheel behind the scenes at the White House. Of those accusations, Falcone said, “Absolutely not. That is a complete misinformation of facts.”

Falcone stressed that this is a business issue that has become political, which he calls “unfortunate.” He clarified his relationship with the president, saying that the two have never met and that Obama apparently acquired some stock in 2005-2006 – stock he subsequently sold. His prior investment is irrelevant. In fact, Falcone shared that he’s a registered Republican and has no political affiliation within this administration.

Falcone also set the record straight on the waivers by the FCC, saying that LightSquared was granted authorization to use the spectrum to build out a nationwide wireless network back in 2005, under the Bush administration. The most recent FCC waiver was irrelevant and does not impact the network.

He commented on testimony from Air Force General Shelton who said the White House pressured him to change Congressional testimony over fears LightSquared’s network would interfere with military systems. He said that the general is misinformed, and the network does not interfere.

Falcone concluded, saying, “Here we are trying to build this network and people are still trying to make a political issue out of it, which it shouldn’t be at all.”

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