Just how close is the connection between Fox News and the Trump administration? Could the network be directly coordinating with the White House to push bogus stories as a way of clouding the waters and distracting from President Trump’s own actions?
A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by longtime Fox contributor Rod Wheeler alleges that Fox and the White House did indeed work hand in hand to create a false narrative that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been murdered because of a connection he had to WikiLeaks.
The original story, which began appearing on Fox News in May, quoted Wheeler as saying that he had “absolutely” located evidence showing Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks in the weeks before the website published stolen DNC emails U.S. intelligence agencies believe were stolen by Russian hackers.
But in Wheeler’s lawsuit, he now claims that the Fox reporter behind the story, Malia Zimmerman, fabricated the quotes in her story. And Wheeler’s lawsuit also asserts that the Seth Rich story was created and manipulated to help take heat off the White House, which has been struggling to contain assorted scandals related to the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
But the most eye-opening revelation from a report first aired by NPR is that the White House was intimately involved in pushing the Seth Rich conspiracy theory:
“On April 20, a month before the story ran, [wealthy Trump supporter Ed] Butowsky and Wheeler… met at the White House with then Press Secretary Sean Spicer to brief him on what they were uncovering. The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from Butowsky boasting that President Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published.”
Contacted for comment on the allegation in Wheeler’s lawsuit, neither the White House or Fox News responded to media requests.
If proven, these latest accusations against the White House and Fox would give us new insight into just how terrified the administration is of the ongoing Russia investigation and how desperately they want to try and change the topic.
You can read the full lawsuit by clicking on this link.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org