CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday challenged Ed Butowsky, the Fox News commentator and Republican donor at the center of a bombshell lawsuit alleging the conservative network conspired with the White House to push a discredited story about former DNC staffer Seth Rich.
Butowosky Tuesday was named alongside Fox News and reporter Malia Zimmerman in a suit by Rod Wheeler, a Washington-based private investigator who claims his words were taken out of context to bolster a bogus story that Rich was connected to WikiLeaks. Fox News heavyweights, including Sean Hannity, pushed the conspiracy for a week, suggesting Rich may have been murdered by the DNC, until Fox News finally retracted the piece and apologized for the suggestion.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges Fox News conspired with White House to push out the conspiracy in an effort to detract from the ongoing investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Butowsky appeared on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” in an attempt to clear his name, but ended up on multiple, convoluted tangents that seemed to cast his version of the events deeper in the shadows. Butowsky admitted he and Wheeler met with Sean Spicer before the story ran, but insisted the trio only discussed where the former White House press secretary buys his t-shirts.
He also claimed Wheeler is only bringing the lawsuit because he’s “broke” and has a crush on a reporter for Fox News.
As Yahoo reports, lawyers for Wheeler want Spicer and Trump to be deposed as part of the lawsuit. Text messages from Butowsky to Wheeler insist before the piece ran insist “[The president] wants the article out immediately.”
“We have the full, uh, attention of the White House, on this. And tomorrow, let’s close this deal, whatever we’ve got to do,” Butowsky told Wheeler in a voicemail.
Cuomo pressed Butowsky on everything from his relationship with the Trump administration to why he felt the need to bankroll the Rich family’s (a family he’d never met before) investigation into Seth Rich’s death.
Watch the insane interview below, via CNN:
Part 3 —