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Top Aide To Virginia GOP Senate Candidate Claimed Democrats Killed Seth Rich

A top aide to Virginia GOP Senate nominee Corey Stewart has shared a number of conspiracy theories on social media, including the popular far-right idea that top Democrats were responsible for the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, a CNN review has found.

The aide, Noel Fritsch, commented on a Jan. 25 Facebook post arguing that neither Bernie Sanders nor Clinton should run for president in 2020, writing, “She killed Seth Rich, and he covered for her.” In an August 2017 post, he referred to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Rich’s “old murder…er…old boss.” And in a February 2018 tweet, he called Democrats “the same people who killed Seth Rich.”

Rich’s death in 2016, which police believe was likely the consequence of a botched robbery, has become the center of conspiracy theories claiming that Rich was murdered for political purposes, with one version claiming he leaked information to WikiLeaks. None of these claims have any proof.

Fritsch has also tweeted about the “Pizzagate” conspiracy alleging a Democratic pedophile ring being run out of a DC pizzeria, shared anti-Muslim sentiments and objected to LGBT people being discussed on National Public Radio. In a comment on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, he huffed that “One group had a permit to assemble” and the counter-protesters did not.

Fritsch told CNN that he “at times use social utilities to ask questions and provoke debate.”

“I don’t agree with all the views of all my supporters or vendors,” Stewart told CNN.

Stewart himself has come under fire for having several ties to the “alt-right.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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