Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution and former Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, is claiming that Russian separatist Igor Girkin (also known as “Igor Strelkov” or simply “Strelkov”) has taken responsibility for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Stanford University professor Michael McFaul, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Russia up until February 2014, said the same thing earlier today:

Both tweets are being widely circulated on Twitter, each with more than 2,000 retweets at the moment.

We have seen the same claim made elsewhere, including here and here.

There are, however, serious doubts about the authenticity of Strelkov’s “admission”:

McFaul himself, who seemed quite sure of himself earlier, is now backpedaling:

He also retweeted this:

Talbott, on the other hand, has doubled down:

The truth will come out. As always, remain skeptical. Twitchy will update as news develops.


And just like that, Talbott is now hedging his bets, too. All of a sudden it’s all very “murky”:


And McFaul says he was “just putting out all reports” for the benefit of his readers:

Next he’ll be telling us that Tom Hanks is dead.


Now he seems to be saying it’s his job to present the latest rumor as truth:


Talbott has now deleted one of the tweets (the one at the top of this post). Poor Strobe. That trick never works!


  • CrustyB

    Military rule of thumb: Ignore all intel during the first 48 hours after an incident.

  • LAPhil

    How in the hell did that airliner get all the way to the Ukraine with probably not much more fuel than it would take it to get to its destination, Beijing, and how could there not have been any communication all that time? And why would it have gone there unless it was hijacked? Something’s wrong with this picture.

    • TJ

      Wrong plane. This was MH17 not MH370. It was going to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam

      • LAPhil

        Oh, thanks for setting me straight. All this time I thought they were talking about MH370, and that would definitely not have made any sense.

  • Fire and Adjust!

    At least no one is blaming it on a video………………………..yet

  • Hotlanta Mike

    Will MH17 be Obama’s RMS Lusitania moment?

  • Ghee!

    Luckily, I don’t go to Strobe Talbott for ANY information.

  • Samuel Stone

    This is sad beyond belief …. but eeks, is this a parody or creepy premonition? Not to be cynical, but CNN is surely going to see a spike in its viewership

  • Tobias Boon

    The claim WAS on Girkin/Stelkov’s official social-media account, and Internet Archive managed to crawl it before the post was deleted. See below; it’s the same strelkov_info account mentioned by the clueless @zerohedge:

  • AT

    But it’s my job Asa a media analyst.

    Better start updating that resume, buddy.