A CNN reporter launched a thousand conspiracy theories after tweeting a photo of a Russian lawyer seated behind one of Obama’s ambassadors at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
CNN reporter Michael Weiss tweeted a picture on July 11 that has already been shared over 1,800 times on Twitter alone. The photo shows Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer at the center of the latest media attack on the Trump administration, in attendance at a June 2016 Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia, seated behind Obama administration Ambassador Michael McFaul:
— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) July 11, 2017
Minutes after asking, “Is Don Jr. was just doing his friend a favor when meeting with Russian lawyer, why did he bring 2 top campaign officials with him? (sic)” in a tweet, McFaul was on the defensive, calling out “desperate” and “kooky” stories by the Gateway Pundit and WikiLeaks regarding his being photographed with Veselnitskaya in attendance.
Check out this kooky story if you want a sense of how desperate and nervous Trump supporters have become: https://t.co/Bl8koEO0mn
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 12, 2017
I never met her. Had no idea who she was until yesterday. Not even sure what conspiracy line you're trying to push but feels very desperate. https://t.co/yjCFV0c7Wr
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 12, 2017
Chatter.Media’s John Cardillo was quick to retort:
A Russian who was repeatedly denied a visa got a prime front row seat directly behind you, and you knew nothing about it? Hard to believe. https://t.co/0SuhOXowl8
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 12, 2017
Other users were even blunter. In what appears to be a misunderstanding of perspective, some users claimed that she was looking directly down at McFaul’s laptop, and even aiming her phone toward the documents in front of him. One user corrected the assumption, but his solitary response was drowned in a veritable flood of skepticism.
She's definitely looking at your open laptop.
— heidi r kling (@HeidiRKling) July 11, 2017
And right over shoulder, aiming downward toward document on desk @McFaul's left
— Thom (@Tsenzee) July 12, 2017
Long focal-length lenses used by news photogs "compress" scene, making people look closer than they actually are.
— Daniel Burnette (@OnRoute6) July 11, 2017
In a now deleted tweet, McFaul claimed, “Never heard of her until yesterday. Why is she sitting so close to me? Im used to be followed by Russians, but in Russia not U.S. Congress ! (sic)”
Twitter users sounded off on both sides of the political spectrum. Some repeated a tried and true refrain for social media points:
Real patriots working hard behind scene. It's deeper than the elections. 45 opened up can of worms. Money laundering? Much deeper. Research pic.twitter.com/aQvoV12Igg
— K Peters✌🇺🇸 (@kpeters4130) July 11, 2017
Others took aim at the constant media drumbeat of “collusion” accusations:
So why was this Russian woman seated behind Obama's ambassador? Must be collusion and treason. pic.twitter.com/IeEh2tN0XK
— Lifelong Democrat Strategist (@JammieWF) July 12, 2017
Some users suggested Veselnitskaya was an Obama administration plant:
Days after she meets with Don Jr, Russian attorney is pictured with Obama Admin Ambassador
Obviously She was a Democrat PLANT‼️ pic.twitter.com/qwiQ7m4VAR
— Villi Wilson❌ (@Conservative_VW) July 12, 2017
While others suggested mortal danger:
Hah, yea the "past" keep up the good work or you too will get the polonium tea.
— Hold The Line (@Lib1776) July 11, 2017
There were plentiful suggestions that sitting in the front row at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing was actually all part of the plan, in what would presumably make Veselnitskaya the least stealthy spy in history.
Actual spying in action.ὄ Nice catch.
— Joe (@horneman) July 11, 2017
Natalia Veselnitskaya worked in the Moscow Regional Prosecutor’s Office at the turn of the 21st century. Her husband was the Deputy Prosecutor of Moscow Region, and then the Deputy Minister of Transport. She has recently gained further notoriety for her 2016 meeting with Donald Trump, Jr.
Veselnitskaya has also led the charge on fighting the Magnitsky Act in an attempt to weaken Russia’s already paltry measures against corruption. While that does very little for her personal reputation, it falls considerably short of making her into an agent of Russian intelligence.
But perhaps only the “woman in blue” knows the truth.
You're right ,the woman in blue knows.
— jill march (@futuritymom) July 11, 2017
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