Right-wing conspiracy theorists are claiming that the Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. was actually a left-wing saboteur.
The conspiracy rumblings started on Tuesday, after a reporter from the Washington Post tweeted a photo showing Natalia Veselnitskaya at a House committee hearing that featured President Obama’s ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. McFaul said he did not know Veselnitskaya, an that she might have been the guest of California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a right-wing Republican and close ally of Russian interests.
But that didn’t stop a conspiracy from blowing up on the airwaves - spreading from full-on fabulists like Alex Jones through to the Drudge Report, Wikileaks and Fox News characters like Sean Hannity. Even Arizona Senator John McCain got swept up in the action, as conspiracists speculated he might have been involved in posing Veselnitskaya as a left-wing agent - leading him to deny the charge on social media.
Veselnitskaya, a Moscow-based attorney, has represented Kremlin interests in the United States, lobbying hrd against the Magnitsky Act, which placed sanctions on Russian individuals and companies in retaliation for the country’s human rights abuses. She met with Donald Trump Jr. last June reportedly to offer damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.