The Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists were quick to assume that the Kremlin had a direct line to the White House.
Russian media revealed the provenance of the direct line on Thursday, stating that part of the state-owned tech company Rostec had developed an encrypted communication complex to connect Moscow and Washington.
Olga Lautman, who calls herself a freelance investigative journalist, posted screenshots on Twitter of an article that was Google-translated from Russian into English.
The post quickly drew attention and as of Thursday morning was shared over 800 times.
Mention of Russia quickly set off the conspiracy nuts that the Kremlin had a direct line to President Trump. Others were more logical and wanted confirmation, and only a few people took note of the fact that the line has actually been functioning since its installation in 1963, during the Cuban missile crisis.
Installed in the "official residence"…so essentially in trumps bedroom.
— Jersey Guy (@Jersey_Strong_) August 23, 2018
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I guess that completes the renovations. pic.twitter.com/cHi0WkDIwe
— Jacidman1 (@Jacidman1) August 23, 2018
There were more calm voices in the avalanche of reaction, however, with some suggesting that the Russian president is “just trolling us.”
if this is true, why say it? the russians would be nuts to admit that there is russian made telecom equipment if trump was an ongoing asset. they would admit it if they thought that he was through. if false, then i think its vlad just trolling us.
— doug marcus (@dougmarcus) August 23, 2018
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Some conspiracy theorists will likely claim that the use of Russian-made telecommunications equipment for the hotline between the two world powers constitutes more “proof” for the Mueller investigation.
But did Russians indeed sneak into the president’s residence to install their special spying tools? Actually, no, and only a few people took note of the fact that the line has actually been functioning since its installation in 1963, during the Cuban missile crisis.
The Russian-made equipment for the hotline was tested by US specialists and recommended for use, a Rostec official told Ria Novosti. “Russian-made equipment has been used exclusively ever since the hotline came about,” he said.
We have had a hotline with the Kremlin since the Johnson administration.
— John Davis (@Aikijohnny) August 23, 2018
For those who are unfamiliar, The U.S. & the Russian Federation signed a "Hot Line Agreement" in June 1963. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis made the hotline a priority (as an effort to avoid unintentional nuclear war. That communications line/mode has been updated over the years.
— Rogue Capt Janeway (@CaptJaneway2017) August 23, 2018