There's more trouble in Trumpland. This scandal involves a murdered Democratic staffer, the whole Russia issue and some incorrect quotes in a Fox article.
To start from the beginning, Seth Rich was a 27-year-old aide working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when he was killed on July 10, 2016 in Washington, D.C. More than a year later, his murder is still under investigation. Rich’s death sparked conspiracy theories, and several right-wing media outlets linked Rich's death to the 2016 DNC email leak. Conspiracy theorists believe Rich was killed because he leaked DNC information to WikiLeaks.
In May 2017, Fox News published an article regarding Rich's death. It quoted private investigator Rod Wheeler saying that Seth Rich had been punished for contacting WikiLeaks, and that a massive scandal was being covered up. This was around the same time that allegations about President Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey was occurring, NPR reports.
Fox's unsupported story was retracted after a cease and desist letter was sent from Rich's parents. They regarded the politicization of their son’s death as disgusting, according to an article they wrote for The Washington Post. “There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare."
Three months later, this story gets even stranger. The New York Timesreports that Wheeler released a statement, asserting that Fox News took his words about Rich's death out of context. According to Wheeler, Fox News only reported this story at the request of the White House.
Malia Zimmerman, the author of the now retracted article, reportedly worked with Trump supporter and Fox News contributor Ed Butowsky. A text message from Butowsky on May 14 serves as evidence: “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. But don’t feel the pressure.” This implies that Trump wanted to say Rich was involved in the leak so that the blame would be taken away from Russia.
Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer previously said he was aware of the Fox story.
To recap, the White House press secretary admits to having a meeting specifically to discuss the Seth Rich conspiracy with the conspirators.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 1, 2017
But now Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is saying, “The President had no knowledge of the story and it is completely untrue that there was White House involvement in the story." Hmm. Wheeler is claiming Trump knew about this inaccurate Fox story, so we have to see if the truth eventually comes out.