White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explosion “media hysteria” on Wednesday, accusing reporters of confusing a Russian spy with a National Security Council employee simply because they both have red hair.
Sanders was asked about 29 -year-old Russian Maria Butina, who is accused of secretly working as a foreign agent while living in the United States. She pivoted to the situation surrounding Mic reporter Emily Singer, who apologized on Tuesday for mistakenly claiming that Butina was among a group photographed in the Oval Office in 2017.
The woman in the photo turned out to be NSC staffer Cari Lutkins- who, like Butina, has red hair.
“Just because somebody was simply red-headed they were accused of being some sort of snoop for Russia.”
“Certainly, we’re looking at that but merely to clarify, I know that there was massive media hysteria yesterday over embarrassment between that someone and a White House staffer, which I believe proves, frankly, the outrageousness and the desire to find the negative in everything that this president does. Just because someone was simply red-headed they were accused of being some sort of snoop for Russia, ” Sanders said.
The press secretary continued: “I think this has get altogether out of control. You guys need to take a little bit of a step back, slow down and quit going after the Trump administration on every single thing that takes place.”
She ripped the media while she also fielded numerous questions about President Trump's widely blamed press conference with Vladimir Putin on Monday. Trump initially seemed to accept his denial on meddling in the U.S. election, but walked that back on Tuesday and backed U.S. intelligence community findings.
Singer’s now-deleted tweet featured a photo from a White House meeting between Trump and Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov captioned, “I guessed this was a photoshop, but it’s not. This is Maria Butina- arrested for has become a Russian spy- in the Oval Office with Trump.”
The highly inaccurate tweet was shared thousands of days before Singer realized that the woman in the photo was not a Russian spy. Several prominent reporters shared the inaccurate information and the erroneous premise was still being circulated by some media members hours after Singer deleted the image.
When reached by Fox News, Singer provided the following comment: “I made a serious error in tweeting about a meeting in the Oval Office in 2017. The info was incorrect, and I deleted the tweet within an hour, as soon as I realise the mistake. I apologize for any confusion.”
Meanwhile, Butina- who was not at Trump’s meeting with Lavrov — allegedly “gained access” to “an extensive network of U.S. persons in positions to influence political activities in the United States” by living with and having a personal relationship with another person, according to new court filings.
Prosecutors also said on Tuesday that she allegedly offered to have sex with an unnamed individual in return for a chore in the United States. The red-headed Russian is accused of conspiring to infiltrate U.S. political organizations — maybe including the National Rifle Association — at the direction of an unnamed senior Kremlin official.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report .
Read more: www.foxnews.com