Edward Snowden tweet retracted by Russian lawmaker

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   July 9, 2013 at 2:20 PM

For a few hours Tuesday, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov seemed to know more about the future of NSA leaker Edward Snowden than anybody else.

Pushkov tweeted early Tuesday that Snowden had accepted an offer of asylum from Venezuela, only to delete the message just a few minutes later.

"Predictably, Snowden has agreed to [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro’s offer of political asylum. Apparently, this option appeared most reliable to Snowden,” Pushkov's tweet said, in Russian.

Later, he sent out a clarification, explaining his seemingly prescient tweet had come from a news report.

“Information about Snowden accepting Maduro’s offer of asylum comes from the Vesti 24 newscast at 18:00. Contact them for all questions,” his tweet said.

But, while Vesti 24 had reported on Snowden's official asylum request to Venezuela, it had made no claims that Snowden had officially accepted an offer.

Still, Pushkov's initial tweet set off a frenzy, which has now turned to derision aimed at Pushkov's overeager Twitter-finger.

In other words, Snowden is almost certainly right where he was before, stuck in limbo in the Moscow airport.

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