Trump had 'no knowledge' of Fox's Seth Rich story: White House

Jerome Frank
August 3, 2017

The most explosive allegation in the story, however, is that the Trump White House reviewed the contents of the Fox News article on the Seth Rich conspiracy before it was published.

Ex-cop Rod Wheeler, hired by a supporter of President Donald Trump to probe Rich's death, said in the suit that Fox intentionally misquoted him, and with the White House and Trump backer Ed Butowsky, used him to make bogus claims to divert attention from the Russian hacking scandal.

A longtime Fox News Channel contributor says the network and a supporter of President Trump embellished a story about Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and his connection to WikiLeaks and leaks of DNC emails.

Wheeler alleges that the story attributed two fake quotes to him in order to push the rhetoric tying Rich to WikiLeaks, and claims that, through Butowksy, the president pressed to get the story out. He wants the article out immediately.

Wheeler alleges in his suit that he met with White House press secretary Sean Spicer on April 20, along with Ed Butowsky, a conservative financier who had been bankrolling Wheeler's investigation of the Rich slaying. Fox News further suggested that the DNC had thwarted the police investigation into Rich's death, which authorities believe was actually a botched robbery, per NPR. FoxNews.com ran and later retracted the story, but Sean Hannity pushed it on his show, even after the retraction.

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When Wheeler asked to have his statements removed from the story, Butowsky told him "the quotes were included because that is the way the President (Trump) wanted the article", Wheeler charges. "It's now all up to you. but don't feel the pressure".

Wheeler alleges that Fox created this misinformation in favor of Trump to take the attention away from the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, which is speculated to have had a role in Trump's winning the presidency. "The president had no knowledge of the story", she said, according to the report. He then went on to besmirch the characters of Fox News host Sean Hannity, form Fox News executive Bill Shine before adding "the whole thing is terrible, I think, and I think that the Rich family has really suffered a lot as a result of the lack of values both at Fox News and the White House".

"At no point in time did Mr. Wheeler say that his investigation revealed that Seth Rich sent any emails to WikiLeaks, nor did he say that the DNC, Democratic Party or Clintons were engaged in a cover-up", his suit alleges. He told Wheeler, according to the complaint, that he was working with Zimmerman, who was also investigating the murder.

Beyond his business, Butowsky has also plied his trade as a go-to analyst for reporters and broadcasters, frequently popping up on television or in news articles. "He requested a 10-minute meeting to catch up". Butowsky said they ultimately talked more about shirts than Seth Rich.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday that the administration was in no way involved with Fox News' story regarding Rich's death. He also claims the entire process took place with the knowledge of the White House.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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