According to a new lawsuit filed Tuesday, President Donald Trump personally reviewed and signed off on a bogus Fox News story that claimed murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been in direct contact with WikiLeaks.
The explosive lawsuit was filed against Fox News by Rod Wheeler, a longtime Fox contributor who was quoted in a Fox story about his so-called “investigation” into the Rich murder, NPR reports.
In creating the story, Fox News quoted Wheeler 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 U.S. intelligence agencies believe were stolen by Russian hackers. However, Wheeler’s lawsuit alleges that the Fox reporter behind the story, Malia Zimmerman, fabricated these quotes in her report.
Wheeler’s lawsuit also claims that the story was originally concocted to help take heat off the White House, which has been struggling to contain assorted scandals related to the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
The most explosive allegation in the lawsuit, however, is that President Trump personally reviewed the contents of the Fox News article on the Seth Rich conspiracy one month before it was published.
“The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from [wealthy Trump supporter Ed] Butowsky boasting that President Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published,” NPR reports.
The Butowsky text in question tells Wheeler that “the president just read the article” and “he wants it out immediately.”
The White House did not respond to Political Dig’s request for comment.