Fox Stands By DNC Murder Conspiracy Theory Even After Main Source Changes Story

Fox News and its Washington, D.C., affiliate, Fox 5, are standing by their conspiracy-mongering reports that slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was connected to WikiLeaks before he was shot to death in July ? even as those stories fall apart.

Fox News and Fox 5 published separate stories about the supposed links Tuesday. But since then, the main source has changed his story, D.C. police and the FBI have disputed the most explosive claims, and Rich?s family has called on the network and station to issue retractions, saying that ?inaccurate reporting? is ?damaging the legacy? of Rich, a 27-year-old DNC staffer who was slain as he walked to his Washington home.

Fox 5 didn?t respond to multiple HuffPost requests for comment about its report. A spokesperson for the station told DCist it was standing by the story.

Earlier Wednesday, Refet Kaplan, managing director of Fox News Digital, said in an email to HuffPost: ?We continue to track developments in the story and will update further when the situation warrants. The network has not addressed the questions and apparent discrepancies surrounding its story.

Washington police believe Rich was killed in a botched robbery attempt and continue to investigate, the Metro Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

But since Rich?s death, right-wing websites have pushed the conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party, DNC or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was somehow responsible for the killing because of Rich?s supposed ties to WikiLeaks. The theory rests on WikiLeaks? release of a trove of internal DNC emails weeks after Rich was killed.

There is no evidence to support the theories. U.S. intelligence officials said in January that the leaks were the work of Russian hackers, who provided the information to WikiLeaks. But Fox 5 and Fox News gave the theories fresh life in stories published Monday night and Tuesday morning, respectively.

The Fox 5 story was based on the claims of Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. homicide detective hired by a third party to privately investigate Rich?s murder. Wheeler?s bona fides were questionable from the start: A Fox News contributor since 2002, he has a history of making outlandish and baseless claims. During one appearance on Fox News, he asserted that armed bands of lesbians were roaming American cities and assaulting children.

Wheeler claimed to the local station that a source in law enforcement told him there was credible and confirmed evidence on Rich?s laptop computer that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks before his death. Wheeler also said law enforcement officials told him that D.C. political figures had told them to ?stand down? on his investigation.

Tuesday morning, Fox News published a version of the story that also relied on Wheeler as its sole named source. But it added information from an anonymous ?federal investigator,? who said that ?44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich? to WikiLeaks.

The explosive headlines quickly spread across conservative media ? from Breitbart to The Drudge Report to Fox News? Sean Hannity ? throughout the day Tuesday. But soon after the stories gained traction, they began to unravel.

Rich?s family, in a pointed statement, dismissed possible connections between their son and WikiLeaks, and accused Wheeler and the outlets of ?pushing conspiracies.?

Metro Police said Wheeler?s claims were false. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called allegations of a cover-up ?preposterous? in an interview with The Daily Caller.

Tuesday night, meanwhile, Wheeler changed his own story, telling CNN that he  ?only got? the information about a possible connection between Rich and WikiLeaks ?from the reporter at Fox News,? and that he had no evidence of such a connection himself.

It was always clear that Wheeler was repeating information that he had heard from another source, instead of relaying the results of his own ?probe.? But his revised version doesn?t necessarily mesh with the timeline of the stories? publication. The Fox 5 story went live Monday evening; the first Fox News version posted on Tuesday, just after 6 a.m. EDT, and relied on the Fox 5 piece as a source.

It was only later that the Fox News piece was revised, adding investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman?s byline and reporting, including claims made by the anonymous federal investigator.

Zimmerman posted the article to her public Facebook page early Tuesday, and said she had ?worked on this story for 10 months? ? a time frame that aligns with Rich?s July murder. Zimmerman?s Fox News archives, however, include no other published pieces about the Rich case.

Further, there are potential holes in the reporting Zimmerman added. Her story asserts that the FBI ran a ?forensic report? on Rich?s laptop within 96 hours of his murder. NBC reported Wednesday that the FBI never possessed or examined Rich?s laptop, raising doubts about the forensic report and how the unnamed federal investigator would be aware of such details about the contents of Rich?s computer.

Efforts to reach Zimmerman by phone on Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful. She did not respond to an email request for comment.

Neither Fox 5 nor Fox News have issued corrections to their pieces, though Fox News altered its version Tuesday afternoon to note the Rich family?s dismissal of the claims and to remove a quote suggesting a cover-up by police. Fox 5 published a subsequent piece Wednesday morning titled, ?Seth Rich Murder: What we know and what we don?t know.?

Late Wednesday, Fox 5 published another story (and aired a TV report) to ?make an important clarification.? It acknowledged that Wheeler had ?backtracked? on his claims and said that he ?characterizes his on-the-record and on-camera statements as ?miscommunication.?? Fox 5, however, still hasn?t fully retracted its initial story.

Brad Bauman, a spokesman for the Rich family, said Tuesday that the stories were an effort to spread a ?political agenda.? He said the family was calling for a full retraction of both stories.

?They need to retract the story or issue an apology, or the family will consider other options, including legal, to clear their son?s name and get Fox to do what?s right,? Bauman told CNN.

UPDATED with the Fox 5 ?clarification? aired late Wednesday.

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Lena Waithe Celebrates Coming Out In A Black Family In ‘Master Of None’

Arguably the best episode of Netflix?s ?Master of None? isn?t about the main character, Dev, played by Aziz Ansari, but about his best friend Denise.

Denise, who is played by Lena Waithe, is Dev?s stylish, laid-back black friend who identifies as a lesbian. Throughout the series, viewers see a confident Denise who is comfortable with her sexuality. But the ?Thanksgiving? episode of the second season showed a more vulnerable side of her. Creators take a look into the past to follow Denise?s character as she realizes she?s attracted to women and comes out to her mom, Catherine, played by Angela Bassett.

Waithe, who co-wrote the episode along with Ansari, revealed that it was based on her personal story of growing up and coming out to her family. 

The producer/actor told USA Today that the episode came to fruition after co-creator Alan Yang asked Waithe about her coming out story while in the writers? room.   

?I started to tell the story about what it was like to grow up in a house with all black women, never even hearing the word ?gay? or ?lesbian,? but not being super Christian. [It was] just all about appearances and how people perceive you,? she said.

Waithe said that she hadn?t intended on bringing elements of her personal experiences to the show, but Ansari called her shortly after she left to ask if they could tell her story ? with her guidance, of course.

The episode follows Denise through a series of Thanksgiving dinners with her mom, aunt (played by Kym Whitley), grandmother and Dev. It starts with Denise as a child and progresses into her teenage and adult years, exploring the nuances of what happens when blackness intersects with gender and sexuality.

One year, Denise spends the holiday with her mom at a diner, where she decides to tell her mom that she?s gay. Catherine?s response is mostly worry over her black daughter having to deal with another part of her identity that may make life even more difficult.

?I don?t want life to be hard for you,? her mom said through tears. ?It is hard enough being a black woman in this world, now you wanna add something else to that.? 

Waithe, who actually did come out to her mom in a diner about 10 years ago, said that those words were actually said to her.  

?It?s very difficult being a gay kid coming out to a parent. I can speak to that from personal experience,? she told TV Guide. ?But I think what I learned in making the episode is that it?s also difficult being a parent, having to have your kid come out to you.”

“In writing the episode, I got a chance to step into my mother?s shoes a little bit and try to understand where she was coming from,” she continued. “I realized that was a very difficult thing for her to go through. Not because she doesn?t like gay people and not because she?s homophobic, but because she got a kid with an added element that she didn?t quite bargain for. And it?s also an element that no one ever taught her how to deal with.?

She told USA Today that retelling her mom?s initially resistant reaction wasn?t to villainize her, but to celebrate ?what it means to come out and be brave.? She added, ?We were also celebrating my mom and all moms who have been come out to, who try and say the right thing and want to know the best way to love their kid.?

Waithe said that Bassett really elevated that narrative.

Bassett told HuffPost that she accepted the role because she felt it was an important story that needed to be told. The mother of two said it?s a parent?s duty to love and support their children no matter what, and Waithe?s story does a good job of showing that. 

?It just meant so much to me because I know that it emanated out of the life of this beautiful, talented, gorgeous, amazing young woman and how important it is for her and for those [whose stories are] like hers, akin to hers,? she said. ?I was very proud to be asked to be a part of it.?

Waithe, who?s currently in a relationship with a black woman, told TV Guide that she hopes the episode has a positive impact on the perception of the black LGBTQ community.

?I feel very honored and proud that I get to tell this story from my point of view,? she said. ?I hope that we?re changing the way mothers, daughters, families, view what it means to be gay and black in America now.?

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Lawmakers Move To Recognize ‘Stealthing’ As Sexual Assault

Lawmakers in two states have introduced legislation that would make the practice of stealthing, or nonconsensual condom removal, illegal in their states.

State rep. Melissa Sargent announced her bill, LRB-3346 in a press release on May 4. ?It?s time to get serious about consent and sexual assault,? she said in the release. ?This behavior is predatory and disturbing, and people should know we [legislators] not only find it reprehensible, but that we won?t tolerate it.?

Sargent told HuffPost on Tuesday that the act of stealthing is ?creepy and egregious,? and that she also made sure to use gender-neutral language in the law to ensure that victims of all genders and gender identities are supported. 

The press release did not provide specific language about what the punishment for those found guilty of stealthing would be, but under current Wisconsin law, sexual assault falls into the group of Class B and C felonies ? Class B felonies are punishable by up to 60 years in prison and Class C felonies are punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

Sargent told HuffPost that she worked with Alexandra Brodsky when drafting the legislation; Brodky?s April study of the phenomenon went viral, and inspired Sargent to write the new law in the first place. Sargent also told HuffPost that she is working with Brodsky on a separate piece of legislation that would support victims of stealthing, particularly with unexpected costs of AIDS and STI testing, pregnancy, or therapy and mental health services, which are unfortunately very real consequences of the practice

In California on Tuesday, Los Angeles Count-based Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia announced similar legislation ? AB 1033 would change the state?s legal definition of rape to include the practice of nonconsensual condom removal. 

?Stealthing is another sign that some men think they can still own our bodies,? Garcia, who also serves as Chair of the Legislative Women?s Caucus, said when she announced the bill. ?I hope all the men out there blogging are paying attention because in California we?re going to lead the nation in ending the ?trend? now.?

But one expert in the field of sexual assault prevention and awareness isn?t convinced that legislation like this will have a profound effect on the issue. 

?Our culture overall has this incredible over-reliance on the justice system to fix sexual violence,? Kristen Houser, the chief public affairs officer for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told HuffPost.

Houser said that the burden of proof is difficult enough for pre-existing laws on sexual assault and rape, and that that over-reliance on the criminal justice system can stop citizens and lawmakers from making the small changes that would prevent sexual violence, like discussions of consent and bodily autonomy, and more progressive sex education. Laws such as these, she said, are focused much more on the response rather than the prevention.

In other words, leaving the issue of sexual violence up to the legal system works much like placing a Band-Aid over a broken bone ? it?s a small gesture that doesn?t truly fix the problem. 

Houser did acknowledge that legislation like LRB-3346 and AB 1033 is certainly a positive way for state legislators to take a public stand against insidious forms sexual violence like stealthing, but that the work can?t stop there. 

?I?m not suggesting that we don?t pass [laws],? she said. ?But we forget that there are other ways to be addressing the issue.?

Need help? Visit RAINN?s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center?s website.

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Senate GOP Bill Would Give Industry ‘Veto Power’ Over New Rules, Critics Warn

Senate Republicans advanced a bill on Wednesday that environmentalists say would thwart rules to protect public health and wildlife by making it easier for companies to tie up regulations in expensive lawsuits.

Shrouded by the political chaos surrounding the White House, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the Regulatory Accountability Act that would impose dozens of new requirements on the government rule-making process. That will make it easier for businesses to trip up regulators with unnecessary steps, environmentalists say.

?This bill is for polluters and others who want to escape accountability ? not for the American people,? Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. ?It would make it virtually impossible to safeguard the public from dirty air, unsafe food, contaminated drinking water and other threats.?

The act proposes adding 53 requirements to the regulatory process, including a mandate that all rules with an economic impact exceeding $110 million go through a lengthy review. The bill would, for example, make it harder for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update meat and poultry safety standards, the Food and Drug Administration to issue new rules on opioids and the Mine Safety and Health Association to upgrade protections for workers without clearing high hurdles set by deep-pocketed meat, pharmaceutical and mining companies.  

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the bill?s sponsor, said it would ?provide certainty for businesses? and ensure regulations are cost effective.

?This bill would create a smarter regulatory process that promotes job creation, innovation, and economic growth, while also continuing to protect public health and safety and the environment,? Portman said in a statement. ?We will continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle to get their input, and I would urge the Senate to take up this common-sense, bipartisan bill.?

The Center for Biological Diversity, though, argued the act would effectively give ?powerful corporate interests like pesticide companies and the oil industry veto power over new regulations.?

?This is a disturbing and deceptive attack on core environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act,? Jamie Pang, endangered species campaigner and policy specialist at the center, said in a statement after the committee vote. ?Republicans know conservation laws are popular, so they use cynical bills with misleading titles to confuse the public. Their real goal is to make it almost impossible to create new protections for our air, water and imperiled wildlife.?

The bill is part of a larger assault by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans on the standards used by agencies to draft rules, giving industries more say over the regulations meant to govern them. In March, Trump repealed a regulation to protect workers from wage theft. That same month, the EPA scrapped a rule requiring oil and gas drillers to report leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Last month, the White House killed a regulation meant to help workers save for retirement. 

The Senate panel also pushed forward two other bills on Wednesday to buttress the Regulatory Accountability Act.

The Midnight Rules Review Act would allow Congress to overturn new regulations en masse, circumventing specific debate on issues such as federal overtime protections, financial regulations and offshore drilling rights.

The American Sustainable Business Council came out against bill in January. ?This would be like taking a chainsaw into surgery,? David Levine, the group?s chief executive said in a statement at the time.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny bill ? known as the REINS Act ? would require new regulations with an economic impact larger than $100 million to be approved by Congress. It also would require at least one chamber of Congress to approve any new regulation within 70 days of the rule?s proposal.

?This process would effectively give a small number of senators veto power over any new significant public health and safety protection,? said Jack Pratt, chemicals campaign director at the Environmental Defense Fund.

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Most Americans Are Bothered By Reports Trump Revealed Intelligence To Russians

Most Americans are taken aback that President Donald Trump reportedly revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

A 57 percent majority of Americans say they?re bothered at least somewhat by The Washington Post?s Monday report that President Trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russian officials in a White House meeting last week, with just 29 percent bothered only a little or not at all. A plurality, 42 percent, say they?re bothered a lot by the news.

At the time the survey was taken, more than three-quarters of the respondents said they?d heard at least something about the story, although just 37 percent had heard a lot.

Views are deeply polarized, although Trump?s opponents are more united than his defenders. Ninety-three percent of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton are at least somewhat bothered by the allegation, with 86 percent bothered ?a lot.? A majority of non-voters, 56 percent, also say they?re at least somewhat bothered.

In contrast, voters who supported Trump say, 68 percent to 17 percent, that they?re largely unbothered. Most, 57 percent, say they?re not bothered at all, and just 7 percent that they?re bothered a lot by the story.

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Half of all those taking the survey were told that the report came ?according to recent news stories,? while half were told it was first reported by The Washington Post. Responses to the credibility of the story were overall similar in both groups.

Thirty-nine percent of those who read the vaguer language said that the assertion made about Trump was credible, 22 percent that it was not credible, and 40 percent that they didn?t know enough to say or weren?t sure. Among those who read the language naming The Washington Post, 36 percent found it credible and 21 percent not credible, with 43 percent not yet sure or haven?t heard enough.

Views of Trump?s decision to fire FBI director James Comey have hardened somewhat in the course of the past week. In the previous HuffPost/YouGov survey, the public was about evenly split on that decision, with 33 percent saying he made the right choice, 34 percent the wrong choice, and 33 percent undecided.

Some of those who were on the fence now feel that the decision was made in error. Americans now say by a modest 8-point margin, 40 percent to 32 percent, that Trump made the wrong decision in firing Comey, with 28 percent still unsure. Just under half believe that Comey was fired in part to disrupt the Russia investigation, a similar finding to the previous survey.

Overall, concerns about the Russia story, which had previously remained stable, seem to have risen modestly, according to a series of questions asked previously to this survey.

Half of the country now says that the Trump administration?s relationship with Russia is a legitimate issue, up from 46 percent. A 54 percent majority say that relationship between the White House and Russia is at least a somewhat serious problem, up from 48 percent.

The shift comes largely among the less politically engaged. Fifty-five percent of Americans who didn?t vote in last year?s election now see an at least somewhat serious problem, up 11 points from last week. Both this week and last, more than 90 percent of Clinton voters, but just about a tenth of Trump voters, considered the story at least a somewhat serious problem.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted May 15-17 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov?s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov?s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls? methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov?s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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How To Embrace College As A Feminist Experience

I thought I was prepared for my freshman year of college. I had spent the past four years fastidiously studying and dreaming of the day when I?d finally get to eschew classes like geometry and physics in favor of women?s studies and Marxist social theory. I endured my awkward social standing, sure that once I left my hometown I?d find my ?people.?

My freshman year ended up being something of a disaster. It turns out a good SAT score and vague knowledge of a dorm-friendly packing list hardly prepared me for what ended up being an emotionally challenging transition to an entirely new life, in a new place, with new people. I emerged from my first year of college alive, but confused as to why I had been so completely unprepared for the reality of it, especially as a woman.

But instead of feeling defeated, I tried to leverage everything I learned that year and wrote the book I wished I'd had as a rising freshwoman. It turns out a lot of people saw the value in that book, College 101: A Girl's Guide to Freshman Year, as the second edition was just released? an excerpt of which is below.

There?s a popular theory that college is the ultimate opportunity to reinvent oneself. But I?d argue that college actually facilitates the first real opportunity to get to know who we?ve always been, but have been encouraged to repress. Women are especially bred to please others. We?re raised to feel that we must eat, dress, and exist in a way that leads others to perceive us as beautiful. We?re taught that our good grades aren?t so much an indication of our personal knowledge and passion but of how ?competitive? we are to attend a certain school. But if we continue to attempt to be flawless ideals rather than authentic, flawed humans, how are we ever supposed to know what we truly want beyond what we?re expected to want?

Applying and going to college may very well be the first time young women, in a society that regularly objectifies and demeans us, are asked to invest in ourselves, to make a choice that will benefit us and revolves around our own self-fulfillment. But we can only take advantage of this opportunity if we have established an identity complete with self-confidence, self-esteem, and assertiveness.

Luckily, college is full of opportunities to freely allow ourselves to figure out who we are. Here are just a few ways you can embrace this opportunity.

Speak your mind. My entire first semester of freshman year, I was too terrified to speak up in any of my classes. I was worried that my peers would judge what I was saying and think it wasn?t insightful enough. I was hyperaware of my freshman status and assumed that upperclassmen had access to a wealth of knowledge that a lowly freshman like me couldn?t comprehend, and therefore shouldn?t challenge by speaking. And, of course, I was just one of many women similarly afraid to overtly project any sort of confidence, while our male freshman peers didn?t think twice about doing so.

In retrospect, holding myself back from speaking was ridiculous. I was being hypercritical of myself: When I finally started speaking in my seminar classes, I never embarrassed myself; I just benefited from contributing to a discussion, which, it turns out, is a really valuable part of your education. I also realized there wasn?t any blinking neon sign following me around, demarcating my freshman status?my comments and presence in class were taken at face value. A college education is not about sitting lifelessly in a lecture, alternating between taking notes, daydreaming about guest-starring on Jane The Virgin and befriending Gina Rodriguez, and online shopping. It?s about engaging. And I recognize that sounds like very official, textbook advice, but it?s so true: You gain so much more by actively participating in your classes?it?s the difference between being taught and learning. Also, being able to offer your opinion and speak in front of a group are really vital life skills?they?ll be relevant and hugely important to whatever work you end up doing, especially as a woman. I promise you that.

Try something you?re afraid you?ll be horrible at. Young women often view the college experience as another step in their quest for perfection. We envision a perfect experience because that?s the standard to which young women are held to generally in this society: The prospect of anything less is a failure because there is no intermediary alternative. And so, we often hold ourselves back. We restrain ourselves to doing only what we know we can out of a fear of failure.

College is the perfect time to embrace this fear. If doing something terrifies you, it?s one of the best reasons to pursue it. One of the things you?ll likely find in college is that everything is at your fingertips if only you embrace fear and gather the courage to reach for it.

Have you always loved singing, but only to the audience of your shampoo and showerhead? Have you always had strong opinions, but a fear of public speaking? Now is seriously one of your last chances to truly explore a hidden talent or unexplored interest. Any adult will tell you that once you?re a ?real person? with a ?real job,? it becomes infinitely more difficult to pursue such things. And who knows? You could get involved with something that changes your life?whether it changes the course of your study, shapes your social life, or just makes you feel fulfilled and happy, you wouldn?t be the first person to be positively impacted by embracing the possibility of failure.

Befriend somebody you don?t think you?ll get along with. It?s so easy to relegate yourself to hanging out with the same type of people you did in high school: If you?re a theater person, it?s easy to gravitate toward other people in the drama program; if you?re an environmentalist, there are undoubtedly countless eco-enthusiasts ready to reach out to you. But college campuses are full of passionate students with unique talents and great intellect. Make it your personal mission to find somebody radically different from yourself and befriend him or her. Although it?s great to find people who understand you on an intimate level, who can relate to you in a specific way, it?s also vitally important to meet people who can expose you to completely different perspectives and values. Maybe the friendship will work in the long term and maybe it won?t, but it will definitely be a valuable experience in some way.

Because you are a special snowflake, I can?t tell you exactly what to do to fully take advantage of your college experience. But I will encourage you to try some of the aforementioned things so you can figure out who the hell you are. Our society does a good enough job of actively sexualizing women and breeding us to believe that there is no deeper self to invest in beyond our bodies, which only exist to please and/or attract men, without us giving in and helping them. And what better venue to try to figure this out than one that?s pretty forgiving and full of a bunch of diverse options and influencing forces, both academic and social?

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College Grad Remixes Kendrick Lamar Song In Salute To Her Higher Ed Hustle

There?s something hella empowering flowing between the bars of Kendrick Lamar?s latest banger, ?DNA.? So for recent college graduate Nahla Ward, the song was the perfect backdrop for rapping about the transformative power of higher education. 

In the below video, which Ward posted to Instagram on Monday, the Temple University grad is fully clad in graduation attire as she spits all she?s been able to accomplish throughout her collegiate years. 

The 21-year old Connecticut native doesn?t leave behind the song?s most noteworthy verse (?I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA?) before putting a collegiate spin on the song.

?I just graduated college, bachelor?s in CLA, studied Spanish and CJ, see my God, he makes a way,? she raps. 

Ward, who studied criminal justice and Spanish, said she was very intentional in using ?DNA? as the rap?s beat. 

?The song highlights different pieces of what made him, him,? she told HuffPost on Tuesday in reference to Lamar. ?I wanted to share how my experience in college has helped mold me into a young woman.?

And those experiences were pretty intensive. While at Temple, Ward won the university?s Diamond Award for exceptional students and the 2017 Criminal Justice Faculty Award.

?GPA over 3.5, that?s right, I came to slay.?

She was also crowned Ms. Temple Africa and the Pi Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity?s Miss Black and Gold 2016.

?I got honors and awards flowing in my DNA.?

Ward told Temple Now that she plans to pursue a music career ? and with good reason. 

In August, she was chosen by singer Monica as the winner of the viral #SoGoneChallenge, where social media users posted videos of themselves rapping over the instrumental version of the 2003 song.

?Even though music is a form of entertainment, to me personally, through my music, I want to educate, inspire and encourage,? Ward told Temple Now. ?To me, if there?s no message, it doesn?t make sense.?

Or as she says in her ?DNA? remix: ?Uplift each other now, there?s no time for the delay.?

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