Alexei Pushkov, a Russian parliament member and head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, tweeted Tuesday morning that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum, before deleting that tweet moments later.
“As was expected, Snowden agreed to (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro’s offer of political asylum,” the tweet read. RT grabbed a screencap of it before it disappeared:
The tweet was picked up by the Associated Press and others:
Snowden has been trapped in a netherworld inside the Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since fleeing Hong Kong two weeks ago.
Maduro made his offer in a televised address on Venezuela’s independence day on Friday. “In the name of America’s dignity … I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden,” he said.
UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Via RT: “‘Information about Snowden accepting Maduro’s offer of asylum comes from [Russian TV channel] Vesti 24 newscast at 18:00. Contact them for all questions,’ Pushkov tweeted shortly afterwards.”
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org