Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

Aug 03, 2017, 00:47
Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

The case has been seized upon by conspiracy fabulists, resulting in unsupported claims that Rich - rather than the perp fingered by the United States intelligence community, Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU - leaked the DNC emails that contributed to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's election loss previous year.

The lawsuit, which was brought by Rod Wheeler, a private investigator who was quoted in the retracted Fox story represents the first tangible link between the fringe conspiracy theory surrounding Rich's death and the White House.

"The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman", he added.

This theory, in turn, would help dispel speculation that the Trump campaign was aided by the Russian government and possibly colluded with the latter - a matter now under investigation by independent counsel Robert Mueller.

Butowsky offered to pay for Wheeler to investigate the death, and a month before the story ran the pair met at the White House with then-press secretary Sean Spicer to brief him on the developments they were supposedly uncovering.

Butowsky, who did not answer requests for comment on Tuesday, urged Wheeler in emails and texts to push the bogus Rich story, according to Wheeler's lawsuit, and suggested that Trump was paying attention.

A new lawsuit claims the story wasn't only concocted, but quarterbacked by the Trump administration.

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Wheeler's lawsuit also claims racial discrimination, something Fox News denies. He said that the text included as evidence was a joke. In response to the story, Butowsky also told NPR that he was kidding about Trump's involvement.

However, in the lawsuit, Wheeler accuses Butowksy of orchestrating the fabrication of a news story in order to help deflect suspicions about Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election.

The Associated Press reports Rich was killed in July 2016 during what police say was likely a robbery gone wrong. Why wouldn't you say Della-Camera or the D.C. guy, why did you say White House? Butowsky said they ultimately talked more about shirts than Seth Rich. Fox News later retracted the article, saying it didn't meet its "standards".

Butowsky said that there's "absolutely no reason" for him to apologize to the Rich family because, "I haven't done anything to the Rich family".

Later, when Cuomo asked Butowsky about his and Wheeler's meeting with Sean Spicer, Butowsky said Wheeler was just "a tag along", and the part about the Rich case only lasted a minute. "Incredibly, according to Butowsky, the president reviewed an article written by a Fox News journalist prior to its publication and sought to get the article published 'immediately'". Wigdor said this would include the president and Spicer.

Wheeler also alleges that he met with Fox News executives and told them that Zimmerman fabricated quotes and attributed them to him, but that they did nothing.

Butowsky did not seem pleased when Cuomo suggested the story didn't seem to make sense in light of Butowsky's meeting with Spicer, despite claims that he didn't know him well. Two days before fox aired the story, the investigator claims the donor left him this voicemail saying the white house was on board with the story.

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