Fox Contributor Says Network Cooked Seth Rich Story At Trump's Request

Fox Contributor Says Network Cooked Seth Rich Story At Trump's Request”

Each of the defendants, including 21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Butowsky, has denied claims brought in the lawsuit. Wheeler says that Fox News and Trump supporter Ed Butowsky sought to shift public attention away from Russian Federation and fabricated quotes to help the narrative. This one involves President Donald Trump reviewing a pre-publication Fox News story-about a knowingly fake conspiracy created to distract from Trump/Russia news-and personally pushing for its publication. Fun! Jay Wallace, Fox's president of news, told NPR there was no "concrete evidence" that Wheeler was misquoted.

The Fox News story, which investigated the July 2016 shooting death of Rich, said evidence from his laptop showed he had been in contact with WikiLeaks before it posted hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. Rod Wheeler is a former detective and long-time paid Fox News contributor who found himself at the center of the Rich story and became something of a fall-guy as the story fell apart.

According to the legal filing, the fabricated quotes by Wheeler include: "My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and Wikileaks".

Zimmerman let Wheeler review the article before it published, but Wheeler says the initial copy differed from the published version in a significant way-it included two quotes attributed to Wheeler that he says were made up.

"Not to add any more pressure", Butowsky allegedly wrote in a text to Wheeler, "but the president just read the article".

Rich was shot and killed near his Washington, D.C. apartment last June, less than two weeks before 19,000 DNC emails were published on WikiLeaks.

He then texts Wheeler to inform him that Trump read Zimmerman's article and wants it published.

Rod Wheeler, a Fox News commentator and private investigator, alleges unpaid Fox News contributor Ed Butowsky and reporter Malia Zimmerman used fake quotations from Wheeler in a now-retracted story about Rich.

Spicer confirmed to NPR's David Folkenflik that he met on April 20 with a Trump supporter, Ed Butowsky, and Wheeler and heard about the story they had in the works. The lawyer who filed the suit, Douglas Wigdor, said Wheeler was sacked for insubordination because his urine test showed trace amounts of marijuana.

Butowsky told CNN that his message about the president reading the article was a joke.

Reached by phone Tuesday morning, Butowsky said he was still reading through the allegations.

Wheeler alleges that just before he sent that text, Butowsky left him a voicemail and said, "A couple minutes ago I got a note that we have the full, uh, attention of the White House, on this". Wheeler has been contributing to Fox News for more than a decade, even through this weekend. "It had nothing to do with advancing the president's domestic agenda-and there was no agenda".

"This was Rod and I", Butowsky said.

Rich's family begged Hannity to stop promoting the claims, and Fox News later retracted the report.

So, if true, what we have here is Fox News being exposed as truly state-run propaganda, Sean Hannity now either the dumbest person in the history of TV or a co-conspirator in a presidential cover-up, and Trump clearly acting in a way which is not only totally scandalous, but also completely consistent with the worst possible scenario on the Russian Federation story.

The accusation that published Malia Zimmerman's story to help detract from coverage of the Russian Federation collusion issue is completely erroneous. The quotes appeared in the Fox story, after which Wheeler claims he contacted Zimmerman, saying that he was misquoted and the quotes should be removed. "But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now".

May 11 - Zimmerman shares a draft of her story with Wheeler.

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