It Appears Putin & Trump Helped Create the Seth Rich Hoax

It Appears Putin & Trump Helped Create the Seth Rich Hoax

In the original report, Wheeler was quoted as saying he "absolutely" found evidence that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks in the weeks before the website published stolen DNC emails that US intelligence agencies believe were stolen by Russian hackers.

The lawsuit, which was brought by Rod Wheeler, a private investigator who was quoted in the retracted Fox story represents the first tangible link between the fringe conspiracy theory surrounding Rich's death and the White House.

Fox News published a "bombshell" story in May 2017 about the death of Rich, expounding on a claim from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that the DNC staffer's death was connected to the 2016 leak of thousands of Democratic Party emails in 2016. It claims that in the weeks ahead of the article's publication, Butowsky was in touch with then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer, White House strategist Steve Bannon, and Department of Justice spokesperson Sarah Flores "regarding his efforts related to Seth Rich". To NPR, Fox News president of news Jay Wallace said there wasn't "concrete evidence" to show that Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman, and did not answer questions about the origins of the story.

Butowsky also allegedly left Wheeler a voicemail that same day, saying, "We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this".

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While the motivations behind Rich's death are still unclear, Fox News promoted the idea of retribution, and after Donald Trump's presidential win in November, the story died.

Wheeler is a former Washington, D.C., homicide detective who had appeared frequently on Fox News as a commentator to discuss the case. "The text message that's in that suit is teasing with Rod because Rod has been begging and asking me for a long time to get him a job in the White House".

Rod Wheeler has been working at Fox News since 2002.

The heat hasn't died down over Fox News' now-retracted report about Seth Rich, an employee of the Democratic National Committee who was killed in Washington, D.C. back in July. "But don't feel the pressure", Butowsky's text to Wheeler went on, according to the suit. 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".

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Fox News did not allow Zimmerman to comment on the story.

"According to Butowsky, the statements were falsely attributed to Mr. Wheeler because that is the way the President wanted the article", the complaint says.

Later, when Cuomo asked Butowsky about his and Wheeler's meeting with Sean Spicer, Butowsky said Wheeler was just "a tag along", and the part about the Rich case only lasted a minute. He says he got involved after being contacted by a well connected Republican donor and trump supporter. The lawsuit alleges these quotes were made up to the pleasure of the president, something the White House called "completely untrue" Monday. Butowsky said "the lawsuit is bullshit" and Wheeler's lawyer "pulled this out of his butt to make money". "He wants the article out immediately".

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