WH Denies Involvement In False Fox News Story

Rod Wheeler

Unproven right-wing conspiracy theories have floated for months suggesting that Rich leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election and that his death could have been the result of his betrayal.

Wheeler is suing Fox News for defamation, alleging the network made up quotes, attributed them to him and then threw him under the bus when the story unraveled days later.

Wheeler says that after Fox News ran the story, he called Butowsky and demanded an explanation for the quotes attributed to him, which he said Zimmerman fabricated.

Instead, Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman and prominent Trump donor Ed Butowsky pressured him to say so - even taking him to a meeting with then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer - in an effort to detract attention from the Russian Federation investigation.

The key claim in a lawsuit filed by television commentator Rod Wheeler Tuesday against Fox News and a Republican donor is contradicted by a public statement made by Wheeler.

In an interview with NPR, which broke the story on the lawsuit, Spicer said that he met with Butowsky at the White House only because he was a supporter of the president.

Fox News has denied allegations that it peddled the story in an attempt to "detract from coverage of the Russian Federation collusion issue".


Fox News' president of news, Jay Wallace, told NPR that there was no "concrete evidence" Wheeler was misquoted in the redacted story, but he did not address the alleged connection between the story and the White House.

Wheeler, who is a former Washington D.C. Police homicide detective also charges Fox with racial discrimination saying he has been denied air time and full-time employment.

Other photos on Wheeler's Facebook page, like the following photo, show Rod standing inside the White House press room.

Butowsky recently told NPR that he was only kidding about Trump's involvement and told CNN that "the lawsuit is bulls-t". Wheeler initially appeared on Washington Fox affiliate WTTG-TV to discuss the story, but later told CNN he had no evidence to support the claim.

"So Chris, I resent you trying to characterize me as an insensitive jerk", he said. Instead, he said, "it was their aim to have Mr. Wheeler confirm that: (i) Seth Rich was responsible for the leak of DNC emails to WikiLeaks; and (ii) Seth Rich was murdered by a Democrat operative because he leaked the emails to WikiLeaks". Not to mention a national news network willing to let the president read a story before it was published. "There's nothing truthful here at all", Butowsky said. Butowsky told CNN that he told Spicer about claims he says reporter Seymour Hersh made about the Federal Bureau of Investigation having a copy of Rich's hard drive. "He wants the article out immediately".

Butowsky told CNN's Chris Cuomo that when he met with Spicer about his findings, he did not tell the press secretary the objective of the meeting beforehand. Fox News poster boy Sean Hannity, an early champion of the story, said he would stop talking about it out of respect for Rich's family. "As Ed himself has noted, he has never met the President, and the White House had nothing to do with his story".

Share

Related News

  • Solar eclipse bus trip a go

    Solar eclipse bus trip a go

    Learn about the upcoming total solar eclipse , dubbed " The Great American Eclipse ", at a free presentation at 10:30 a.m. NASA will send up cards, or coupons, with dried bacteria on them to see how the bacteria reacts during eclipse conditions.
    Marco Rubio 'applauds' Sam Brownback nomination for Religious Freedom Ambassador

    Marco Rubio 'applauds' Sam Brownback nomination for Religious Freedom Ambassador

    In a tweet Brownback called religious freedom "the first freedom" and said he was honored "to serve such an important cause". The first term Senator is hopeful that Brownback's successor will help move future legislation forward.
    Scientists edit human embryos for first time in US

    Scientists edit human embryos for first time in US

    The U.S. intelligence community said past year that the CRISPR editing technique was a potential "weapon of mass destruction ". It's unclear what illnesses were involved exactly, but they used sperm donated by subjects with various inheritable diseases.
  • Delta, Air France-KLM & Virgin Atlantic to Form Single Joint Venture

    Delta, Air France-KLM & Virgin Atlantic to Form Single Joint Venture

    Delta shares traded down just under 1 percent, weighed by disappointing third-quarter outlooks by rival USA carriers. Virgin Atlantic says it will remain a United Kingdom airline and continue to fly under the Virgin brand.
    Cardale Jones traded to the Chargers for late-round pick

    Cardale Jones traded to the Chargers for late-round pick

    The depth chart includes starter Tyrod Taylor , 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman and free-agent signing T.J. Jones, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, appeared in only one game during his rookie season.
    Vatican Shuts Off Historical Fountains Amid Italy Drought

    Vatican Shuts Off Historical Fountains Amid Italy Drought

    Vatican Radio said all of Vatican City's fountains will go dry, including those in its gardens, to help save water. The Vatican began turning off its fountains due to an ongoing drought in Italy, the BBC reported Tuesday.
  • Trump dictated statement for son on Russian Federation  meeting

    Trump dictated statement for son on Russian Federation meeting

    President Trump reportedly dictated Trump Jr.'s response as he flew home from a meeting of world leaders in Germany. Goldstone states that the "Crown prosecutor of Russia" had met with a previous business partner of the elder Mr.

    Ricciardo completes Friday practice sweep

    Nevertheless, there are positives to be taken from the pace displayed today, making the race on Sunday an exciting prospect.
    Red Sox's Price may skip start due to elbow issues

    Red Sox's Price may skip start due to elbow issues

    This expands on a previous speculation by The Boston Globe's Dan Shaugnessy about his elbow woes resurfacing. In March, the hurler was diagnosed with a strain of flexor mass muscle in his forearm near his left elbow.
  • United Kingdom  govt says concerned about Centrica's planned power price rise

    United Kingdom govt says concerned about Centrica's planned power price rise

    The average household bill on its dual fuel tariff is forecast to rise by about GBP76 per year to GBP1,120, up 7.3%. British Gas will increase its electricity tariffs by 12.5pc in September 2017: Pictured: British Gas engineer.
    Rory McIlroy turns to best man after dumping caddie in shock move

    Rory McIlroy turns to best man after dumping caddie in shock move

    Phil Mickelson split with caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay last month after a 25-year partnership that netted the American five majors. Fitzgerald's words clearly helped as McIlroy bounced back from an opening round 71 to shoot 68-69-67 over the next three days.
    Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm

    Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm

    They had thrown pieces of paper and tried to disrupt proceedings during zero hour in the Lok Sabha today. Suresh, Adhiranjan Chowdhary, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and MK Raghwan.