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.
Asked Putin's spokesman about Snowden-->Venezuela: "I have never heard anything about that." Welcome back to confusion land.— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) July 9, 2013
He also said about @Alexey_Pushkov: "If I were in his shoes, I would never send such a tweet without knowing some information." Ouch.— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) July 9, 2013
(Oops just looked at my notes: he didn't say 'send such a tweet' he said 'make such a statement'.) (Can still dream about Peskov tweeting.)— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) July 9, 2013
In other words, Snowden is almost certainly right where he was before, stuck in limbo in the Moscow airport.