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Fox News has been forced to retract an anti-Trump hit piece based on an unverified quote supposedly made by a former Trump cabinet member, but how did such a mess like this occur in the first place?

The story, originally published on July 7, was based on the claim that former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said that Trump could “kiss my butt,”

The original headline drove that home, reading, “Former Trump Cabinet member tells him to ‘kiss’ his ‘butt.'”

According to Breitbart News, Fox opened its now retracted story with the following:

EXCLUSIVE: Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told Fox News Digital there’s “no way” he will support former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid.

When asked whether he will endorse Trump, Price said, “After he fired me? No way.” “The only thing that guy has more of than fake tan is narcissism,” Price said in an emailed statement to Fox New Digital. “He can kiss my big medical butt.”

The potential for bad blood between Trump and Price is, of course, obvious.

President Trump fired cabinet member Price in 2017 after it was reported that the HHS Sec. had used multiple taxpayer-funded private jet trips for personal reasons.

However, the Politico reporter who broke the story on Price’s flights back in 2017 said on Friday that Price not only refutes making the “kiss my butt” quote, but also says he had no email exchange on the topic at all with the cable news network.

Diamond added that Washington DC newspaper The Hill was also tweeting out the false quote.

Since Diamond’s tweets on the story, Fox News has now completely retracted the story and now features a disclaimer in its place.

The “Correction” reads, “This article inaccurately attributed a quote to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and has been retracted.”

The big question is, how did this even happen at all? Did Fox News get punked by a fake email claiming to be from Tom Price? Did the original writer of the story, Elizabeth Troutman, just make it all up from whole cloth? That seems highly unlikely, but another question looms: how did the Fox editors let the through?

From the short bio note about the writer, Elizabeth Troutman is listed as a “College Associate at Fox News Digital.” That appears to mean she is a paid intern serving time in the Fox News operation to gain real-world experience. Troutman also appears to have written for the Daily Signal and was an intern with the Heritage Foundation early this year. Certainly, it’s hard to blame Troutman when it is her Fox News managers who are supposed to be proofreading and fact-checking her work before it is published.

It is also possible that the writer was handed all the parts of the story and tasked with writing it up to meet the assignment from her editors. So, Miss Troutman may be merely the scribe, not the “reporter” on this misfire.

Still, a mistake of this magnitude makes one wonder if in this case, getting Trump was more important than getting the facts? Has Fox News gone from publishing news to being more interested in things that might undermine Donald Trump, whether they are true or not? And if so, what makes Fox any different than the rest of the left-wing, legacy media?

This article originally appeared at Western Journal.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at:, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and several local Chicago News programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target rich environment" for political news.


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