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May 23, 2017
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Fox News on Tuesday officially retracted its conspiracy theory about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. In a statement, Fox News admitted that its "scoop" published May 16, alleging that Rich was in touch with WikiLeaks just before being "mysteriously" murdered, was "not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny" usually required.

"Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed," the statement said.

Rich's family has been ardently denying the story since its publication, saying such conspiracy theories are harmful to "the memory and reputation of Seth Rich." Washington, D.C., police have reported Rich was killed in what was likely a botched attempted robbery. Moreover, Fox News' source, private investigator Rod Wheeler, admitted nearly a week ago that his only source for the story was a reporter at Fox News and that he had no actual evidence to back the conspiracy.

Fox News host Sean Hannity was still pushing the story as recently as Tuesday morning, enraging even his fellow anchors. Just over an hour before the retraction was published, Hannity was tweeting about Rich.

Fox News vowed in its statement that it would "continue to investigate this story" and "provide updates as warranted." Becca Stanek