The net of rumors and uncertainties over NSA leaker Edward Snowden deepened Tuesday when a prominent Russian lawmaker tweeted that Snowden had accepted Venezuela’s offer of political asylum, then deleted the posting a few minutes later.
It was not possible to immediately reach Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee who has acted as an unofficial point-man for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair. But soon after the posting on his Twitter account disappeared, he sent another message saying his claim was based on a report from the state all-news television channel Vesti.
However, no such information could be found on Vesti’s website and no Russian news agency reported that Vesti had reported it.
The TV channel could not immediately be reached for comment. The Kremlin declined comment on Tuesday’s developments. Snowden, who revealed details of a US intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, came to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and was believed to be headed for Cuba.