Jen Psaki, who the other day was tapped by projected President-elect Joe Biden to lead the White House communications team as the incoming administration's press secretary, has taken to Twitter to warn against becoming "a puppet" of Russia's "propaganda machine".
For anyone who hasn't been the target of Russian propaganda (cc: @McFaul @HillaryClinton) the purpose is to discredit powerful messengers and to spread misinformation to confuse the public. Anyone who repeats it is (unwitting or not) simply a puppet of the propaganda machine.— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) December 1, 2020
"Did Russia photoshop the hat onto your head then?", one incredulous user queried, with another similarly asking, attaching a much chewed-over picture from January 2014 featuring then-State Department press spokeswoman Psaki wearing a pink Russian fur hat called a "ushanka".
The picture in question was taken in Paris after talks on the resolution of the Syrian crisis. The meeting saw the Russian and American sides exchange quite unusual gifts: then-US Secretary of State John Kerry brought "two sizable Idaho potatoes" for his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, while the latter had a gift for Psaki – the pink hat, purportedly with a Soviet hammer and sickle, and the one that she is wearing in the joint picture with the Russian delegation.
Other netizens, meanwhile, jumped at the chance to engage in a rant against those who brought up the famous picture of ushanka-wearing Psaki:
Hey, remember when Trump gifted Russia classified intelligence in the Oval Office? pic.twitter.com/TopRGEiy0B— Tuff Tiff Resists (@TuffTiffResists) December 2, 2020
She was the spokesperson of the state department accompanying the secretary of state on a diplomatic meeting... I am shocked right wing cultist are twisting this all kinds of way ( I am not shocked)— Keff Korvos (@KeffKorvos) December 2, 2020
… but quite a few struck back in response, insisting that posing for such pictures as part of a diplomatic meeting "is not misinformation":
It's an absolute fact you wore a hat with the hammer and sickle on it. That is not misinformation.— Chuck (@cfiterman) December 2, 2020
I just hate it when people try to pull the "put a hat on my head sneakily and take pictures" prank...I mean, only an idiot would fall for that one, right?— Mike Kappel (@CCMbuilds) December 2, 2020
"You could just simply admit catastrophically bad judgment and apologise?", another gave Psaki a friendly tip in the comments section below her post, saying the featured hammer and sickle emblem was "a symbol of murderous terror in Eastern & Central Europe".
Others commented apparently keeping in mind how Psaki turned into a virtual meme-generator due to her array of blunders while leading the US State Department's press service under Barack Obama.
"Yep. She is like a world champion of clowns. The best of them. Missed her", someone tweeted, with another dropping condescendingly, along with the picture of her in the pink hat:
"Whatever you say, sweetie".
Psaki is, incidentally, said not to have kept the gift, USA Today recently reported citing a source familiar with the unusual exchange.