“Fact check: The claim: A photo shows Jen Psaki, Joe Biden's pick for press secretary, wearing a hammer and sickle hat while posing with officials from Russia,” USA Today tweeted on Tuesday in reference to a photo that resurfaced of Obama administration alum Jen Psaki posing with Russian officials donning a hat emblazoned with the communist hammer and sickle.
Russia expert David Satter in 2017 concluded that an estimated 20 million Russians died as a direct result of communist policies.
“Our ruling: Missing context,” USA Today reported.
“She is wearing a pink hat with a hammer and sickle emblem, which was a gift from the Russians that she returned,” the fact-check stated. “At the time, Psaki was a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. The image is real, but claims that the hat was anything more a gift or that Psaki was with Russian officials in any capacity beyond her official role are MISSING CONTEXT.”
The conclusion seemingly downplaying the controversy drew the ire of several prominent conservatives on Twitter.
“Why are you fat [sic] checking this?” Donald Trump Jr. responded on Twitter. “No one’s making a claim just showing her wearing a commie hat… THAT'S A FACT!!! If the media stopped running cover for Democrats as their primary mission maybe they have some credibility left.”
“Would you look at this…” author Dinesh D’Souza tweeted. “The ‘independent fact checkers’ working with @Facebook have ruled this post of mine "missing context" despite the photo of @jrpsaki wearing a pink hammer & sickle hat being 100% real. This is now a strike on my page. Who fact-checks the fact checkers?”
“The same people will tell you that wearing a red hat makes one a racist,” political commentator Dana Loesch twitter.
“And journalists wonder why they’re viewed even more unfavorably than politicians,” Grabien Founder Tom Elliott commented in a tweet.
Other Twitter users highlighted an appearance by Psaki in March of 2015 while she served as State Department spokesperson where she appeared to claim that she had kept the hat and not returned it as the fact-check stated.
“Hi @USATODAY! Your fact check directly contradicts Psaki’s own words,” author Mike Cernovich tweeted. “How can @Facebook use USA Today to fact check?”
“Speaking of ‘missing context,’ nowhere in this ‘fact check’ does it mention that during her final State Department briefing on 03/25/2015, Psaki told reporters: ‘I have my pink hat at home, it’s coming with me to the White House,’” Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra tweeted.
“I have my pink hat at home, it’s coming with me to the White House,” Russian media reported her saying at the time.
USA Today did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.