CNN Reporter’s Tweet Inspires Conspiracy Theories with Photo of Russian Lawyer Sitting Behind Obama Admin Ambassador

House Foreign Affairs Committee
House Foreign Affairs Committee

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:

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.

Chatter.Media’s John Cardillo was quick to retort:

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.

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:

Others took aim at the constant media drumbeat of “collusion” accusations:

Some users suggested Veselnitskaya was an Obama administration plant:

While others suggested mortal danger:

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.

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.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.


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