Fox News Channel coordinated with US President Donald Trump to distract attention from Russia investigation

August 2, 2017 10:30 pm

Republican presidential candidate participates in a debate sponsored by Fox at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (File photo)

Channel helped the White House push a claim about Democratic leaks and a murdered employee of the Democratic National Committee in order to distract attention from the Russia investigation, according to a lawsuit.
Investigator Rod Wheeler, who had been looking into the killing of former committee employee Seth Rich, filed the lawsuit against Fox on Tuesday.
According to the suit, Fox quoted the investigator as saying things he had never said and that the channel was willing to show President Donald Trump its story before posting it online.
In May, Fox posted a story on its website qouting Wheeler as saying that there had been contact between Rich and WikiLeaks, the organization that posted a large number of DNC emails last year.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has informally advised Trump, heavily promoted the story. However, Wheeler says in the suit that he never made such an statement.

Fox News host Sean Hannity is seen in the White House briefing room in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

He also asserts that he was told his false comments were included in the story at Trump’s request.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump did not know there was such a false story before it was posted. Sanders added that it was “completely untrue” that the White House had any involvement in shaping it.
This is the second time in two days that Trump has been accused of attempting to push a public narrative amid an ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump dictated a misleading statement in which his son said a meeting between him and a Russian lawyer was centered on adopting Russian children.
According to the post, Trump made the move while he was flying home from Germany where he attended the G20 summit on July 8.
The US intelligence community has accused Russia of running a series of high-profile cyber attacks to change the outcome of the November 8 presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has firmly denied the hacking allegations.
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