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Sean Spicer admits to White House coordination with Fox News on DNC murder conspiracy reports

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Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, confirms that officials in the West Wing were briefed on a since-retracted Fox News report pushing a murder conspiracy involving a slain DNC staffer.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by former homicide detective Rod Wheeler claims Fox News distorted his findings regarding Seth Rich and alleges that President Donald Trump personally reviewed the report before it was published May 15.

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Spicer told NPR, which reported the lawsuit, that he was unaware of any contact involving the president — but he admits he was briefed.

He admits to meeting April 20 at the White House with wealthy Dallas investor and unpaid Fox financial commentator Ed Butowsky and Wheeler, a former detective and paid commentator since 2005 for the news network.

“Ed’s been a longtime supporter of the president and asked to meet to catch up,” Spicer told NPR on Monday. “I didn’t know who Rod Wheeler was. Once we got into my office, [Butowsky] said, ‘I’m sure you recognize Rod Wheeler from Fox News.'”

Spicer, however, denied any knowledge of the report the day after it aired.

“I don’t — I’m not aware of — generally, I don’t get updates on DNC — former DNC staffers,” Spicer said at a May 16 press briefing. “I’m not aware of that.”

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The lawsuit quotes a May 14 voice mail Butowsky left for Wheeler, claiming he had the “full attention of the White House on this,” but he now insists he was joking.

Fox News eventually retracted the story claiming Seth Rich had leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee, where he worked, to WikiLeaks — which contradicted intelligence findings that Russian hackers had stolen the data.

The claims were heavily promoted by host Sean Hannity, who said the report “blows the whole Russia collusion narrative completely out of the water.”

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Rich’s family begged Hannity to stop promoting the claims, and Fox News later retracted the report.

Jay Wallace, the president of News at Fox News, denied the news outlet published the story to help Trump.

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“The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous. The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman. 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,” Wallace said in a statement.


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Trump rages at new light bulbs during White House meeting for making him look orange

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President Donald Trump on Friday complained about energy-efficient light bulbs that he claimed made him look orange.

As reported by Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, the president said he wanted to bring back older light bulbs that would give him a more flattering skin tone.

"Trump quips that the new light bulbs don’t make him look good and being a 'vain' person, that’s important to him," Mason reports. "He says they make him look orange. He plans to bring cheaper light bulbs back."

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Ex-GOP lawmaker drops the mic on Lindsey Graham: ‘A political opportunist who will flop with the winds’

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Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told Vox.com's Sean Illing this week that he hasn't seen that much change between the Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that we saw before President Donald Trump's election and the Lindsey Graham we see today.

Over the course of a lengthy interview, Illing asked Jolly how anyone could compare the statements that Graham made about Trump in 2016 with the fierce defenses he's recently been making of the president and not conclude that the South Carolina senator is a blatant fraud.

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Nikki Haley buried for Confederate flag ‘heritage’ defense: ‘Pleading to Trump to make her the VP right here’

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Former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley stepped in it on Friday afternoon after making the bizarre claim that the Confederate flag was a symbol of "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until convicted murderer Dylann Roof "hijacked" it.

During an interview with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, Haley stated, "“Here is this guy who comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag. And [he] had just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina — there’s always the small minority, that’s always going to be there — but people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.”

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