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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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Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying threat from coronavirus: report

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Major Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity spent weeks assuring viewers that the novel coronavirus wasn't a serious threat. In recent weeks, however, they have shifted to a different narrative, acknowledging that the virus is dangerous but giving President Donald Trump credit for taking action and criticizing Democrats' lack of action — even though many Democrats, in fact, warned the pubic first.

But according to The Daily Beast, even as there is no clear end to the crisis in sight, and even as the U.S. crosses 13,000 deaths, many Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying the virus, either telling viewers it wasn't as bad as advertised and urging the president to end public safety measures against it.

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The dangers of Trump TV: MSNBC host hammers Fox News as ‘genuine public health threat’ amid pandemic

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Tuesday night, Fox News decided that all anyone needed to do is to pump Americans with a Malaria drug and send them back to work to save President Donald Trump's economy.

Speaking Wednesday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes bashed the conservative network for downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus, saying that they are "a genuine public health threat."

While Trump has advisers like Dr. Anthony Fauci, he also has the unofficial advisers he sees on Fox News.

They "are coalescing around the idea the whole thing is just overblown and we need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and get them back to work. This is what you heard if you watch trump tv just last night," Hayes said. He then played clips illustrating exactly that, with hosts ranting and raving about the virus not being as serious as the flu.

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‘Don’t let him rewrite history’: GOP ex-congressman slams Trump for painting fewer than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths as a victory

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At Wednesday's coronavirus task force press conference, President Donald Trump reiterated his claim that if fewer than 100,000 Americans die from COVID-19, it will be a victory for him.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) had none of it.

He ignored the warnings. He ignored the scientists & doctors. He refused to prepare. He lied about the virus. This country wasn’t ready. People got sick. People died. People lost their jobs. Because he cared more about himself than the country.

Don’t let him rewrite history. https://t.co/9snqoJ1VQI

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