Feinberg, who was the White House correspondent for Sputnik, first made the allegations when he left the Russian outlet in May. However, his story is newly relevant in light of a lawsuit filed this week that accused President Trump and the White House of playing a role in a “fake news” story designed to advance the same conspiracy theory.
Feinberg started at Sputnik in January, just as Trump took office. He was the outlet’s first reporter to work inside the West Wing. In a conversation with Yahoo News on Wednesday, Feinberg alleged that Sputnik wanted him to bring up a news article that’s at the center of the lawsuit in the White House press briefing room.
The story, which was published on the Fox News website on May 16 and retracted a week later, suggested Rich may have played a role in last year’s leak of DNC emails. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the email leak was orchestrated by the Russian government to help Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. There are multiple investigations into whether Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia.
Feinberg said that during a meeting held on May 26, his superiors asked him bring up the story in the press briefing.