Fox News accused of making up quotes in DNC murder story

In May, Seth Rich's conspiracy theory resurfaced, and Fox News published a story that quoted Wheeler, who was a former homicide detective hired to investigate the DNC staffer's death.

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.

The motivation behind the story, published a week after the firing of FBI Director James Comey created a firestorm, was to "shift the blame from Russian Federation and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russian Federation", the suit said.

According to Wheeler's suit, Butowsky, a Dallas wealth manager with ties to White House adviser Steve Bannon, met with Sean Spicer, then a White House spokesman, to inform him about the article involving Rich.

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.

"A couple minutes ago I got a note that we have the full attention of the White House on this and tomorrow, let's close this deal", Butowski said.

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Fox says it's "completely erroneous" to suggest it pushed the story to distract from the Russian Federation investigation.

In his lawsuit, Wheeler claims that because of the reporting in the Fox News story, and the network's decision to use him as the only source, he "was subsequently forced to correct the false record, and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public".

"Additionally, FOX News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit-the dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race".

The AP reports that White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the issue today at a White House briefing.

The text message was allegedly followed up with a voicemail to Wheeler. NPR said Fox News refused to allow Zimmerman to comment.

Fox has said it will continue to investigate the story and provide updates as warranted but has not yet said it was wrong.

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The 27-year-old Rich was shot in Washington in July 2016 in what police believe to have been a failed robbery. "But don't feel the pressure". Butowsky said they ultimately talked more about shirts than Seth Rich.

Fox New's story about Rich originally aired in May, but was retracted a week later.

The first quote read: "My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks".

Butowsky did not seem pleased when Cuomo suggested the story didn't seem to make sense in light of Butowsky's meeting with Spicer, despite claims that he didn't know him well. He said if I wanted to, he could put me in touch with the white house general counsel.

He added, "As Ed himself has noted, he has never met the president and the White House had nothing to do with his story".

Wheeler said Butowsky later told him the fabricated quotes from him were included in the article "because that is the way the president wants the article". Rich's family urged Fox News to leave their son alone, and eventually, the conservative media outlet deleted the Seth Rich story from its website, stating it did not meet company editorial standards.

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