10:27 GMT18 January 2021
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    Although demonising Russia has long been commonplace, particularly in the Democratic orbit, when Jen Psaki made an attempt to this end, many treated it like another faux pas from the ex-spokesperson of the US Department of State.

    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".

    "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".

    "This you?"

    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:

    … but quite a few struck back in response, insisting that posing for such pictures as part of a diplomatic meeting "is not misinformation":

    "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.


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