This is outrageous. Journalists are continually bombarded with rumors, often scurrilous. They are not news. Rumors only become news when they are confirmed, cross-checked and responded to by the target of the attack. There are two possible reasons why Novak is peddling unconfirmed cra: (a) he is getting too old to do the actual legwork long-associated with his column (and respected even by those of us who find his views reprehensible) or (b) he has simply abandoned all pretense of being a journalist.
But you must understand that this is a smear that tarnished both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.