POLITICS

Fox News named in lawsuit by contributor over retracted Seth Rich story

Fox News has been named in a defamation and discrimination lawsuit brought Tuesday by contributor Rod Wheeler.

In the lawsuit, Wheeler claims that FoxNews.com reporter Malia Zimmerman fabricated quotes attributed to him in a story about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

Wheeler's suit also claims Fox News worked with the Trump administration and Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Republican donor, to erroneously link Rich's death to Wikileaks, which published hacked DNC emails on the eve of the party's national convention last summer.

Fox News retracted the story a week after it was published.

Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that President Trump had any knowledge of the story, adding, it's completely untrue that ... the White House [had any] involvement in the story."

"The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman's story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous," Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement. "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."