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Two Russian diplomats’ mansions in New York and Maryland that were seized in December as punishment for Russia’s meddling in the election made headlines again last week when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov demanded the properties be returned.
"We think that the diplomatic property must be returned without any conditions and talks," Peskov told CNN Monday.
The properties have sat empty since the sanctions were imposed, but a fake news story has come up with a creative repurposing for them.
A post that appeared on Newsfeedhunter.com on July 12, 2017, said that Obama seized the mansions as gifts for his daughters, Sasha and Malia.
"It looks like Obummer wasn’t actually trying to punish Russia for anything after all (since there’s nothing to punish them FOR) — he was actually just trying to get a couple of free mansions for his brats while kissing up to his ignorant base of drooling libtards," the post said.
The intelligence community has already confirmed that Russia meddled in the election, but even so, there’s no way Obama could have gifted the mansions to his family.
The Russian properties will be held by U.S. government until the issue with Russia is resolved, according to Harley Balzer, a government and international affairs professor at Georgetown University.
It would then take years to transfer ownership to anyone.
"Almost 40 years after the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran (which we have certainly not done with Russia) the Iranian embassy on Massachusetts Avenue has still not been turned over to the Obama girls for parties," said Steve Sestanovich, the George F. Kennan senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Captions on photos of the two houses say the girls won’t be getting the mansions because President Donald Trump will return the mansions to the Russian government, but the fate of the properties hasn’t been confirmed yet, hence Peskov’s demand.
"Those properties to which you refer are part of a larger dialogue with the Russian Federation," Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
"There are a whole host of issues we're discussing with the Russian Federation, but my commitment is that we will consult with you on this issue before any final implementation of an agreement that we don't have yet with the Russian Federation," Sullivan said.
The source of the fake news, Newsfeedhunter.com, even admits its stories are fabrications.
"We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist," the disclaimer says.
We rate this statement Pants on Fire!
Newsfeedhunter.com, "Busted: Russian Mansions Obama Seized Were Meant To Be Illegal Gifts to Sasha and Malia," July 12, 2017
CNN, "Russia warns US over seized diplomatic compounds," July 18, 2017
Email interview with Steve Sestanovich, the George F. Kennan senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, July 24, 2017
Email interview with Harley Balzer, a government and international affairs professor at Georgetown University, July 24, 2017
The Guardian, "Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for US election hacking," Dec. 30, 2016
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