02 August, 2017
(Trump fired FBI Director James Comey a week before the article was published.) "One of the big conclusions we need to draw from this is that the Russians did not hack our computer systems and ste [a] l emails and there was no collusion like [t] rump with the Russians", Butowsky allegedly wrote in emails to Fox News producers and anchors promoting the piece.
Butowsky told NPR he was only joking about Trump's involvement, while Fox News said there is no evidence Wheeler was misquoted.
On May 14 - the day before Fox News published the story - Wheeler claims Butowsky sent him a text indicating President Trump read the article and wanted it published immediately. The quotes said Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks and that the Clinton campaign was blocking the murder investigation. It is also important to point out that the plaintiff, Rod Wheeler, clearly said things about the Rich investigation which he knew to be false (and therefore is not a highly credible person) and that his claims are perfectly created to take advantage of a narrative which the news media would be obviously very willing to embrace.
"Not the part about, I mean, the connection to WikiLeaks, but the rest of the quotes in the story did" come from Wheeler, she says.
A chronicling of the events, as detailed in the lawsuit, begins with a text message from Butowsky, a Trump supporter, to Wheeler two days prior to the Fox story's publication: "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article".
The story was quickly denounced and disproven by multiple law-enforcement agencies, including DC's Metropolitan Police Department, which is investigating Rich's death as the result of a botched armed robbery. He wants the article out immediately.
The lawsuit says in part, "The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russian Federation and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russian Federation in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election". There was no immediate response from Fox or the White House. The White House and Butowsky did not respond to Mother Jones' request for a comment.More news: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch Footage Shows Game in Handheld Mode
Fox has pushed back at the Wheeler lawsuit.
Wallace also told NPR that there is no "concrete evidence" that Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman. "Additionally, Fox News vehemently denies the race claims in the lawsuit-the dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race".
The lawsuit claims that Butowsky is "an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump and opponent of Hillary Clinton, and a friend to former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon".
Wheeler, an African-American, is also suing Fox News for discrimination, alleging that he didn't advance in the network's ranks as rapidly as some of his white co-workers due to his race.
Spicer said Butowsky described what they planned to make public: "They were just informing me of the story". Of course, the "alleged" part really only applies to the accusations regarding Fox News' intent and the White House's endorsement, along with the charge that its reporter, Malia Zimmerman, fabricated quotes to support her story.
The essence of the real scandal here (the details of which are unfortunately too involved for most people to really understand) is that the insane Seth Rich conspiracy was launched on Fox News with direct involvement from Trump for the expressed goal of muddying the waters on, and distracting from, the Russian Federation investigation.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday denied that President Donald Trump knew about a retracted Fox News story that floated conspiracy theories about a slain Democratic National Committee staffer. "But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now". Wheeler claims both quotes were fabricated and untrue.