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 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 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 with the cable news network.


Diamond added that the Washington DC newspaper The Hill tweeted the false quote.

Since Diamond’s tweets on the story, Fox News has retracted it and now features a disclaimer.

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reads, “This article inaccurately attributed a quote to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and has been retracted.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 story’s original writer, Elizabeth Troutman, just make it all up from whole cloth? That seems highly unlikely, but another question looms: how did the Fox editors let them through?

From the short bio note about the writer, Elizabeth Troutman is listed as a “College Associate at Fox News Digital.” That means 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. Indeed, it’s hard to blame Troutman when her Fox News managers are supposed to proofread and fact-check 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 different from the rest of the left-wing, legacy media?

Cross-Posted with iPatriot