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White House insists no part in Seth Rich story
02 August 2017, 12:36 | Floyd Cook
Rod Wheeler, Part of Recent Seth Rich Controversy, Seeks Fox News Trial
Wheeler and Butowsky continued apace, along with Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman, who would go on to write the Fox Newsstory that would end up sparking a rush of interest in Rich's story.
Much of Zimmerman's story weighed on quotes allegedly from Wheeler, whom wealthy Trump supporter and unpaid Fox News commentator Ed Butowsky reportedly hired to investigate the death on behalf of the Rich family. Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump's agenda.
On May 14 - the day before Fox News published the story - Wheeler claims Butowsky sent him a text indicating President Trumpread the article and wanted it published immediately.
Fox News ran a story in May suggesting Rich was connected to the leak of DNC emails by WikiLeaks. Wheeler claims that Fox News made up his quotes in the story supporting its premise and that Trump wanted the story put out to divert attention from the Russian Federation investigation. It attributed this quote to Wheeler: "My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks".
21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Republican donor Ed Butowsky are named as defendants.
July 10, 2016 - Rich is shot to death in Washington during what D.C. police describe as an attempted armed robbery.
The lawsuit claims that Butowsky and Zimmerman hoped the story "would debunk reports the Russian were responsible for the DNC hacks" and "undermine reports of collusion between Russia and the Trump Administration". "Notwithstanding Ofcom's inquiries into Fox's ability to convey news in a nonpartisan manner, the collaboration appears only to have deepened since President Trump's Administration took over the White House".
Xochitl Hinojosa, the communications director for the DNC, said if the allegations in the lawsuit are true "it is beyond vile that the White House - and possibly even Trump himself - would use the murder of a young man to distract the public's attention from their chaotic administration and Trump's ties to Russian Federation". It's Wheeler who's filed the lawsuit, as will be explained below.
Butowsky told CNN that his message about the president reading the article was a joke.
Now, though, we know that Spicer was indeed aware that Fox News was cooking up a story that would eventually be amplified and twisted into a huge, baseless conspiracy theory.
Wallace also told NPR that there is no "concrete evidence" that Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman.
It's a complicated story that is based on allegations in a lawsuit filed by a person whose quotes in that discredited story were themselves discredited. And she says that "it's completely untrue" that he or anyone at the White House was involved with the story. "But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now". 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". Wheeler has been contributing to Fox News for more than a decade, even through this weekend.
Responding to the suit, Rich family spokesman Brad Bauman tells PEOPLE, "I am just so hopeful that this really once and for all gives them the space that they need in order to grieve and gives the police the space that they need in order to actually find the killers". It includes quotes from Wheeler about the Federal Bureau of Investigation source that he claims in the lawsuit he never gave to Zimmerman.
May 11 - Zimmerman shares a draft of her story with Wheeler.
On May 23, Fox Newsretracted the story, saying it did not meet "the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting".
Apple Removes VPNs From China App Store
The Chinese crackdown on VPNs is not particularly shocking, given the country's well-known isolation from the broader internet. In China , Apple is dealing with a law that's in place and no real legal footing to mount an opposition.
Rex Tillerson has no plans to step down, official says
It is customary to list "no public appointments" when a secretary is on a personal vacation، according to The Associated Press. Tillerson is "aware of the president's comments،" but didn't express an opinion on what he said، according to Nauert.