Fox News fiction
Breaking news tonight president trump has fired F._B._i.. Director James Comey breaking news coming out of the White House president. It's made two thousand seventeen barely three months into donald trump's presidency and the Russia's story was blowing up big time a stunning development that seemed to come with little warnings department is appointed a special counsel to take over the Russia Investigations Muller's purview will be the entire Russia issue the whole question at the very moment the news who's playing out nonstop on television trump's allies in the political world and the news media were crafting a very different version of events and it had nothing to do with the Russians instead was a story rooted in an unsolved murder on the streets of Washington giant deep state conspiracy to cover up the crime tonight another massive breaking news story explosive developments in the mysterious mysterious murder a former D._n._C. Staffer Seth rich that could completely shatter the narrative that in fact wikileaks was working with the Russians with an eight days the explosive story that set Sean Hannity off would be retracted and stricken from the Fox News website. It was a huge black I for the conservative news network but how did this embarrassing episode come about in the first place what rolled the trump White House play in pushing it out and why even after the fake story was taken down. Did it continue to fester in the dark corners of the Internet. I'm Michael Isikoff and welcome to Yahoo News is conspiracy land the untold story of Seth rich a special six-part podcast brought to you you buy skulduggery in this podcast. Were exploring the story of how one man senseless murder on the streets of Washington with shamelessly exploited for notoriety and crass political purposes an example without conspiracy theories flourish Irish infect the body politic in the brave new world of social media. This is episode Form Fox News Fiction it had been eight months since D._N._C.. Staffers Seth Rich and been shot and killed on the streets of Washington D._C.. In with the police were convinced was a botched robbery but as the lead detective on the case told an investigator for the rich family that spring the police investigation was quote somewhat stalled with no suspects. I know persons of interest the lack of progress helped fuel wild conspiracy theories from people like Alex Jones of Info wars so what really happened seth rich while we know Hillary likes to kill people know she's got a long history having her henchman Edmundo those fanciful ideas at this point had received little mainstream media attention but they had gotten traction inside a building where conspiracy theories were flourishing like never before Donald Trump's White House so which march nine two thousand seventeen. I'm writing to Steve Bannon texting with Steve Bannon. Ira Rosen is a veteran producer for C._B._S.. News is sixty minutes. He like many reporters at notice. The Internet buzz claiming there was something darkened ferry alias about the circumstances surrounding seth riches death so he reached out to Steve Bannon then the senior counselor and chief strategist to president trump rosen figured for good reason that bannon would dish about anything you might have picked up about a government conspiracy to cover up riches death in the conversations. I've had with Steve. He tended to go towards conspiracies. He liked conspiracies <hes> and he believed him. He talks about the deep state. He talks about a black ops but there's one thing about talking about it when you're running breitbart and there's another thing when you're talking about him as being the senior presidential adviser so Rosen put the seth rich question to Bannon in a series of text messages he shared with us. I right Steve Bannon. There is a story going around that the Podesta hacking was a disgruntled insider who sold the emails for money to wikileaks. Have you heard that the supposed Russian hack of the Hillary Campaign headquarters orders and Bannon writes back the kid that got shot question mark. There wasn't any question about who the kid once and I write kid's name was seth rich and then he writes back heard about him huge story he was a Bernie Guy and after another brief exchange bannon wrote me back it was a contract kill. Obviously it was a contract kill obviously yeah. He's trying to wet my appetite to actually go chase the thing when you see that from a senior White House advisor it was a contract kill. How did you react? I reacted the way any reporter would probably react which is oh boy. I bet a check this one out and so <hes> I use that as has sort of if you will. There's something here to this story leaving though I don't live in Washington anymore I still have some pretty good police sources <hes> and also F._B._i.. Sources and I kind of checked the landscape a little bit and realize that there really was nothing there. What I ultimately concluded was that this was a diversionary tactic? He was trying to spin a counter counter narrative and seth rich fit perfectly within that counter narrative but Rosen dropped the story there were others who were prepared to pursue it. Thanks in part to the freelance meddling of our next quirky character in the saga a charismatic Dallas money man with connections at Fox News as well as at the trump White House. I am Ebuta Healthy L.. Kim Wealth Manager based in Dallas Petoskey makes his living managing the financial affairs of professional athletes just like Jack Berkman the DC lobbyist. We told you about in the last episode Petoskey relishes the media line way if you go to his website at petoskey Dot Com the first thing you'll notice or the words as seen on followed by the logos for A._B._C.'s C._N._B._C. C._N._n.. N._B._C. News sports illustrated E._S._p._N.. C._C._T._v. and Fox four he's an occasional commentator on Fox business and an inveterate political kibitzer having served on a so-called citizens counsel to investigate Benghazi at the G._O._P.. Convention that nominated Donald Trump Petoskey was seen in the box of Sheldon Sheldon Adelson one of the biggest the party's mega donors going to make America great questions were raised about Russian efforts to help trump in the election petoskey jumped headfirst. I into the controversy determined to replace the mainstream media version of events with an alternative Metavsky claimed he got a hot tip about a supposed connection between seth rich and wikileaks and decided to track down the rich family eight to tell them about it. I went on facebook and said. Does anybody know anybody Jewish in Omaha and miraculously through my four thousand friends somebody did I say. Can you make an introduction. He says yes. I know these people very well. They belong to my temple. Here's Mary rich says mother well. It was a friend of a friend someone Nunu contacted someone renew and we did give bed because ski a call. We'll see what he wanted. On December the seventeenth thrill one central time two thousand sixteen. I spoke to them for the first time since he was a famous financial business like stockbroker broker and that he did very well and if you're a stockbroker you you take vote the ethics not just in your professional life but in your personal life and and my husband looked at it as he was a deeply religious and he would be honest even so the riches were startled by what they heard. He told us that a friend had gone to visit the challenge in onto told them that seth had done the very first phone call I had with Mr and Mrs Rich they confirmed. We know what our boys did that seth rich had had leaked the emails to wikileaks not leaked sold them the richest say that's nonsense. Joel and Mary say they told Petoskey we know what our son did. Meaning he would never do something like cell emails else to Julian assange and the richest had a good reason to tell boathouse ski this the Washington police had examined sess laptop and concluded. There were no signs of any contact with wikileaks. We say the can't be if not true. There's no that's not what didn't do that and and said that assange it said it was sent thrown email and I said his computer has been fully checked and there isn't any any emails that were sent in that regard adult. It's called back to say that it was done by drop nail drop bands. Thank you dropbox and think we check in. No there was no dropbox Eiser in we told that that and then add told us to look for the money that Asandra take and we incentive trust me there is no money both Joel and Mary adamantly deny this account yeah. I can't speak to that. I don't know these people I can just tell you what happened so <hes> I can't tell you why is these people would say something that was different than what they said to me. Taskey was not to be put off on the contrary his interest and involvement only grew when he had a very strange phone call all from the last person you can imagine the last person I can imagine to be involved in this story legendary investigative reporters Seymour Hersh a lot of the stuff just seems bizarre but Michael. This is exactly what happened. There's no offense and that's about it. Metavsky says a former U._S.. Intelligence official who had been a longtime source for Hirsch urge the reporter to call him an exchange uncorroborated leads about what they had heard about seth rich according to Petoskey the ex-official told him he said I got a frame Cy Hirsch who actually has done a lot of work on this and can't get anybody to publish his story. Hirsch of Gore's is one of the most renowned journalists of our time a ferocious investigator who broke monumental monumental stories ranging from the Muli massacre in Vietnam to the torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq a man gets immense satisfaction in uncovering scandal and exposing official lies he had become convinced the U._S.. Government account on of Russia hacking in the election was one of those lives started by Barack Obama's C._I._A.. Director John Brennan a theory. He eagerly shares with Petoskey on their phone. Call Rush Yeah. I am a narrative of how that whole easing began surprenant Parisian <unk> information on the all that they were killing. We should point out that Hirsch was being dare. We say it overly conspiratorial. I hear the idea that Russian agents had hacked democratic emails wasn't invented by John Brennan. It was the official conclusion of every U._S.. Intelligence Agency then examined the issue and that finding was later ratified by special counsel Robert Muller now back to that phone call which unbeknownst to Hirsch Petoskey was taping as the reporters spins out another bizarre narrative this one about seth rich and a supposed secret document why don't come on the I report that she made contact with wikileaks sentiments computer anyways contact all I know that he offered a sample extensive sampling on dozens of emails and said Okay then later get the password yet a drop of protected dropbox. They got access to the jock she also also the report hearing. All this petoskey gets excited. Fella stay focused on. I want you saw a report. You sell the F._B._I.. Before somebody I have somebody any inside and I've been around one time I read one of the insane who will go at redefine for me and I know reversal unbelievably acting carefully very I know dying you favor having told his Seth Rich Story Hirsch now is in the market to get some information back from Kutowski so I'm headed handed down. You're not going to be on anything. I know that when I know I know that Julian assange told a friend of mine who met was her that he got emails from Seth Rich and he told and they're very personal personal France initially just wanted to let the parents because they should know what happened to their suck. The William and that's why I started getting really into this because then they'll then the whole thing came up about the hacking with the Russians and we saw a lot of problems especially leading a mother and father know what happened to their son and second we solved the problem about Russians are the ones that gave the emails because I did not happen. I know that did not happen. Kutowski presents to be able to see the F._B._I.. Report for himself. I like to have anything at all but most importantly this is one of those ninety one well. I what I'm saying is I would love to see if they had it is not the but the most important thing is everyone the so many people throughout trump's in four years maybe eight years are always all back on the idea that he's not legitimate and the Russians got this changes. All Brew Taskey again urges the journalists to give them something he can pass along onto his friends in the White House. I want to get this I can't I don't play politics I all I have a a great history getting things in the getting things out there. Were nobody knows that the one that did it on the White House about by the end of the conversation I thought he had made a couple of things clear. He's not prepared to stand by the story he had just related from his source control. I've said it remained. I'll tell you about the CY hearst thing looms large I think because for the people working on this story he obviously carries a Gravitas and it's exciting to have him as part of the merry band that are thinking about this stuff. David Folkenflik covers the media for N._P._R.. In two thousand seventeen he investigated how the media was dealing with the seth rich conspiracy stories and the role that Petoskey and her shes phone call played and fanning. The crazy thing about the conversation is <hes> how differently those people at different ends the phone call viewed their conversation right. Both of these guys come to a phone conversation primed with the belief that the other would yield extraordinary new insights that would fuel further coverage or revelations not realizing that the other guy might not have hard information. He's talking gang with seeming certainty about conversations. He's had with a source and yet at the end of the conversation as captured in the recordings her she sang doesn't make a true may never have happened. We don't know I guess it's a little bit lake. Some of those supposed muscle building supplements. You get used to get it those mall stores. You know where they're like by the way this hasn't been evaluated by the F._D._a.. So don't take us to seriously for all Folkenflik admiration for Hirsch. The journalist comments in the phone call troubled him. I don't think it's how you are. I approach reporting. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that you're dangling something in front of somebody that's not true. Particularly with specificity hearst declined to be interviewed on Yahoo News Conspiracy Land to discuss this phone call with Petoskey but he emphasized us that he never published anything about the supposed- F._B._i.. Report because he never had any corroboration that such document actually existed more importantly in a previously unreported exchange a few months later he told boathouse key the same thing Ed. You have a lousy memory. He wrote in an email mail before he knew the phone. Call had been secretly taped. I was not read anything an F._B._i.. Friend I have no first-hand information and I really wish you would stop telling others information you think that I have and that have no reason to believe is accurate <music> Hirsch absolutely one hundred percent told me he spoke to a person at the F._B._I.. You just listen to the audio tape and draw your own conclusion and he can say whatever he wants but all because he says something doesn't mean what I'm saying is not. True what I'm saying is one hundred percent true and it's recorded. There's not much more. I can say about it but doesn't it raise the question about what he told you if he doesn't stand behind it. He says what he told. You is not true. No not at all I mean there's just no E._S._p._N.'s abuts about it. He's retracted what he said in that tape it. You can't retract something. That's on tape speaking of discrepancies. What about that a friend of petoskey? He's the one he told the riches and her Shebang Julia Cy told the friend of mine who met with her then he got the emails from Seth Rich who task you wouldn't talk about his friend with us but retold others about her and we tracked her down it turns out she remembered totally different version of events Allan Hi. It's Mike Isakov. How are you good? Ellen is Ellen Ratner Talk Radio Host and the sister of the late Michael Ratner. Who was the U._S. lawyer for wikileaks? How do you know Ed Petoskey? Hell we met met the Green Woman Fox News Channel and Hughes the conservative and I'm a liberal right greenland chat and <hes> you know he knew people I knew from Cleveland Ohio which is where I'm from and that's how we got to know each other the Saturday before the two thousand sixteen election radnor did in fact meet with Julian assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with other members of our family. One of her brother's wanted to know. Why are you releasing things about Hillary Clinton but not about Donald Trump and he said I'm not getting things about Donald trump or else we would remember just a couple of months earlier? ASSANGE tease the political world by suggesting that seth rich might have been the source of the Leak D._N._C. emails. It was a way to deflect from wikileaks really acquired them from a Russian military intelligence online persona called Ghafur two point. Oh but assange had never explicitly asserted a link with rich and according to radnor the subject was never even discussed when she met with him did seth rich come up at all out it out now. I'd never heard of this character really now. This whole comment that Ed Metavsky has been telling lots of people that you told him that assange said that seth rich was the source of the D._N._C. emails. That's not true. I didn't even come up. I'm telling you that impacted not happen. Model not at all after we taped this interview Petoskey went public that Ellen Ratner was indeed is supposed source for the Julian assange conversation about seth rich rich and he released a couple of text than email messages that he had with Ratner that he claimed backup his story but we reviewed those messages and they make no references to seth rich whatsoever. If Kutowski Husky had garbled or completely misrepresented what Ellen Ratner had said to him. It didn't stop him from trying to make the most of what Sei Hirsch at I told him about a supposed F._B._i.. report convince the Etta Smoking Gun Petoskey sent the riches which is a copy of his secretly recorded conversation with Hirsch and I sent it to Joel and Mary rich and they never said thank you and it really bothered me. It just bugged the crap out of me that they didn't say thank you so after three weeks I just randomly thought man these people even listen to the from the beginning the Richard concluded there was no reason to pay attention to any conspiracy story but Hausky or anyone else was pedaling but they were still determined to find out who killed their song by needed dire private investigator and I was out you know trying to figure out how in the world we could ever afford it because we couldn't and Lo and behold at mcculskey calls and says you really need a private investigate and I sat there and I went Oh. God don't say this don't citizen I did. I said I'll pay for it. I have no idea why so then. This is where everything in my life changed so Metavsky agreed to foot the bill for private investigator you then reached out to Rod Wheeler a Retired D._C.. Detective who also conveniently enough was paid Fox News contributor specializing in crime and law enforcement Metavsky cinematheques which read in part behind the scenes. I do a lot of work on paid helping to uncover certain stories. My the biggest work was revealing most of what we know today about Benghazi and looking for assistance on something that happened in Washington and I would appreciate it if you would give me a call wheeler agreed to take the job it was a crucial step that would soon help petoskey could get the attention of America's biggest Cable News Network. Here's wheeler talking to an online website called crowd source the truth they brought me on board to investigate a murder which is what I like to say I do best ought to be sure they were red flags about wheeler from the start due to a history of making oddball claims such as this two thousand seven appearance when he told Fox's Bill O. Reilly about a new crime epidemic plaguing the country pistol-packing and lesbian gangs. There's this national underground network. If you will bill of women that's lesbians and also some men groups this actually recruiting kids as young as ten years old. We've actually counted just in the Washington Washington D._C.. Area alone Washington Maryland and Virginia well over one hundred fifty of these crews or gangs or networks now the other thing to that our viewers are GonNa find very very interesting is the fact that they actually carry some of these groups carry very pink pistols. They call themselves to pack it. The Pink Pistou pack and Group after law enforcement officials dismissed the Threat Wheeler apologized saying he had inadvertently referred to a horde of lesbian gangs that actually didn't exist although some Fox producers and even one anchor we spoke to were wary of Wheeler and reluctant to put him on the air by the end of March two thousand seventeen he had become a goto commentator on the seth rich case giving this update to the local local Fox station our next guest Rod Wheeler he's a former D._c.. Homicide detective and Fox News contributor who is now working with south riches family. Thanks for being here morning else why so few leads in this case right the police don't have. I don't think the police right now the detectives have ACLU in terms of who caused the death of seth rich and I think that's one reason alison why the family has engaged me and my company to <hes> to help the police look into this a little bit more it's possible and an underlying the word possible that it could have been related to his job to some degree or relationships with the job. Don't know that for sure that has investigators. We have to go down every path until we can determine who was responsible for his death. Then boot Hausky brought in yet another another member of the Fox News family reporter for the website named Molina's Zimmerman during the two thousand Sixteen Election Zimmerman reported on what she said were hundreds of disgruntled F._B._I.. Agents Griping about the handling of the Hillary for Clinton email investigation here. She is sharing her story on the Fox News show on the record. They believe that there was enough information to charge Hillary Clinton under the espionage act for mishandling and disclosing classified fight information and they believe that not doing so was based on politics and not on law. What kinds of things are they saying to you? They're very disappointed. They feel like the agency has been polluted. So <hes> I think it's really at an all-time low in terms of morale and they're embarrassed and they feel like they've been betrayed. At this point all three of these players boot hausky of Fox business commentator Wheeler Fox News contributor and Zimmerman Fox News reporter reunited in their goal trying to find evidence to support the version of events that her should spelled out in that secretly taped phone call by mid April. This mission led Bartelski in wheeler straight into the trump White House and I called up Shawna's. Hey can I come by and see that Sean is then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer he in Petoskey were on a first name basis mainly. I just thought it'd be cool to go inside the White House. I had never been there. petoskey ass wheeler to come along telling. It's a chance to make an impression for a future job in the trump administration but also a good time to brief the White House about the Intel they had been gathering on the supposing connection between wikileaks and Seth Rich Yes wheeler to make sure he had some talking points yeah so I told him hey. Why don't you have a write up? You can sell Sean what you've been doing and when we got in there the first thing I said the Sean was hey. Thanks I appreciate you know being able you know this is pretty cool and his office Kinda cool when he said yeah I said hey rods been doing something on this and you might WanNa know about it be based on what side hearses said because everyone's coming after trump about breaking into the D._N._C. so rod wheeler shared with him what he had according to Metavsky Hausky Spicer showed no interest immediately immediately Sean Spicer said Eddie. I have nothing to do with this. I don't WanNa know about it. I wouldn't know what to do with it. I don't WanNa talk about it. Shut it down. Immediately Spicer wouldn't talk to us about the meeting but two years ago he did tell N._p._R.'s Folkenflik that he brushed Metavsky and wheeler off telling them this isn't a White House thing but wheeler related different version when he spoke to C._N._N.'s Chris Cuomo. We had this meeting we we met for about ten to fifteen minutes. Sean Spicer said I'm not sure how I can help with this investigation. He said Rot. If you WANNA talk some more about this or maybe if you want me to put you in touch with somebody at the Justice Department. He gave me his business card he also so gave me his personal cell phone number. This is what he gave me and he said if you need some more help give me a call. I've never caught sound spicer after that but that's the truth and that's what happened we lose investigation. The speed bump on April twenty fifth when he met with Joe Della camera the DC police detective in charge of the case Della Camera told him that the investigation was somewhat stalled with no suspects or persons of interest according to wheelers written memo about their meeting Della camera also threw cold water on the idea that seth rich was murdered because he had leaked the D._N._C. emails to wikileaks quote. I've got nothing to say or to show that the shooting was related to emails or anything other a street robbery and quote he said according to wheelers memo not only that Della Camera told wheeler that as far as he knows the F._B._i.. Had nothing to do with the seth rich investigation. I was never contacted by the F. B.. I. At all he said and I don't have any knowledge of them being involved that was not to say the least what Edvin Hausky wanted to hear what you can look what I've learned about this and so many others you can't trust one thing I can tell you is watching police say whatever they want to say all right. The petoskey in wheeler did hear something promising from Zimmerman on May tenth the day after F._B._i.. Director Comey was fired Zimmerman Women claim she had talked to an anonymous federal investigator no indication of who this person is or even agency he or she works for who had supposedly seen an F. B. I. report documenting emails between Seth Rich and wikileaks. He was a big break if true Zimmerman new however she needed more for the article to pass muster so who did she reach out to Rod Wheeler himself he would be her on the record source confirming firming this explosive news me kept calling me thing. Why won't you call me so I can confirm this task? He decided to turn up the heat on May fourteenth. He left the provocative voicemail for wheeler hey rod a dead Ed couple minutes ago again note that if we have the full attention of the White House on the and borrow closes deal he also sent an eyebrow raising texts to wheeler that said quote not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article he wants the article out immediately notwithstanding the plane wording of his taxed or the meeting with Sean Spicer or the interest of Steve Bannon <unk> tasking now says he was just joking about the White House's interest in the case but whose attention at the White House did you have. Nobody's attention at the White House. I was teasing with him to tell him. Let's get this done. I there was not one person at the White House it was me helping Rod and encouraging Rod to return Molina's call so basically had your bullshitting here. I was bullshitting with Rod of course I've never spoken to the president of my life still having I don't know the president never spoken to him never met him. Do you know do you know Steve Bannon. See here your your your typical your typical left-wing reporter. We're just ask question too. I know C._B._S.. Of course I know Steve Bannon. I appeared on C.. Being as readers show two or three times and hang on the reason I asked you that is you said you had no connection to the trump White House at the time and action Steve Bannon for two years was a senior strategist at the two years Michael. The truth is honey. I'm Steve Bannon in two years. Did you ever discuss the seth rich case with St Bennett. I haven't talked to see being in four years okay. You just said to me what you're doing. Typical left wing liberal media person whatever the truth here the invocation of top level White House interests seemed to have worked wheeler signed off on a couple of quotes for Zimmerman's article that appeared to confirm there was some sort of email exchange between seth rich and wikileaks and the DC police department was covering it up. Here's wheeler telling what happened on the website crowdsource the truth. The information that I got about the source was developed by the Fox News Channel reporter reporter Melissa Zimmerman. She called me. She said Rodney got this new information that there's this F._B._i.. Guy a former F._B._i.. Guy Federal investigator and he said he knows for a fact that emails went from <hes> Seth's computer to wikileaks. I said this guy credible. That's what I asked her. She said he's very credible and I said an S. confirm. She says confirmed the next day before Zimmerman story is even published. He gave an interview to reporter for the Local Fox affiliate in Washington that set off an explosion today Fox five has learned there is new information that could prove these theorists are in fact right new information from the families private investigator suggests adjusts. There is tangible evidence on seth riches laptop that confirms he was communicating with wikileaks prior to his debt. The rich family hired Rod Wheeler a former empty homicide detective to run a parallel investigation into their son's his death wheeler says he believes there's a cover up and the police department has been told toback down from the investigation. The police department nor the F._B._I.. Has Been Forthcoming. They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his debt lies on that computer which I believe is either at the Police Department or either at the F._B._i.. I've been told both that you had sources in the F._B._i.. Saying that Mary permission for Short Selfridge to wicky absolutely yeah and that's confirmed actually it wasn't confirmed and all but that didn't deter America's most watched Cable News News Network next on Yahoo News conspiracy land the cable networks anchors and guests jump all over the story explosive new developments tonight in the murder of D._N._C.. Staffer Seth Ridge who was murdered last summer turns out. It wasn't the Russians it was. This young guy who I suspect was disgusted by the corruption the Democratic National Committee until it blows up in their face. The network retracted the story Tuesday Fox says it was not subjected to a high degree of editorial scrutiny. That's episode five Fox News Fallen. Thanks for listening to this episode of Yahoo News Conspiracy Land. We need to give a couple of shoutouts here I in my Yahoo News colleague Alexander Zarian who thought investigating conspiracies around seth riches murder would be a good idea for a podcast. Thanks also to my Yahoo News Colleagues Charity Elder Dan Clyde men and Mark Semen for their helpful ideas as well as to the folks from long story short media for their invaluable help in producing this podcast young newses conspiracy land is brought to you by skulduggery a weekly.