Vice President Joe Biden’s transition team Monday defended a photo of press secretary Jen Psaki wearing a pink hammer and sickle hat.
The photo of Psaki was revisited by Trump Campaign Deputy Director of Communications Matt Wolking who shared the image on social media.
Here’s Jen Psaki hugging Russia's Foreign Minister and Russia’s chief foreign affairs propagandist while wearing a pink hammer and sickle hat pic.twitter.com/WMJytaxd7J
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) November 30, 2020
“Here’s Jen Psaki hugging Russia’s Foreign Minister and Russia’s chief foreign affairs propagandist while wearing a pink hammer and sickle hat,” he wrote.
Psaki is standing next to Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov in the 2014 photo as well as Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. At the time she worked for former President Barack Obama’s State Department. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry is also in the photo.
The Russians also tweeted an image of the Psaki wearing the hat in 2014.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 13, 2014
The Biden team explained it was a gift from the Russians according to Fox News reporter Sam Dorman, and noted such exchanges were common on foreign trips. They cited an instance where former Secretary of State John Kerry gave Lavrov two Idaho potatoes.
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) January 13, 2014
It’s not the first time that Obama officials raised eyebrows regarding Russian symbols. Former White House press secretary Jay Carney was mocked in 2014 after posters of Soviet propaganda were spotted in his home.