Allegations appear to hinge on Max Blumenthal’s t-shirt
The best part of a major, nationwide protest movement is having someone to blame. This weekend, the new narrative embraced by the White House would pin large US protests against police brutality on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.
The Trump Administration has had a problem with Maduro for a long time, and in just the past few months had also accused him of being involved in the drug trade, justifying a bounty on his head that culminated in a failed invasion by a private US company.
The White House is refusing to offer any proof on this, saying it was “non-open source.” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) cited certain news reports from Latin America. The whole thing, incredibly, all falls back on Max Blumenthal’s T-shirt.
Blumenthal, from TheGrayZone.com, was shown in a DC protest as wearing a T-shirt with “Hugo Chavez eyes” on it. This was taken as a sign of Venezuelan links to the protests, and doubled down on with Blumenthal having interviewed Maduro, and been photographed shaking his hand.
This all starts a not particularly complicated story of Max Blumenthal having gone to a protest and having worn a Venezuela-themed t-shirt. Turning this into the protests being a Venezuela thing is another matter, however, as there is no sign Blumenthal himself was in any way driving the protests. Blumenthal’s presence wasn’t even a point of focus for media outlets until some saw this as a chance to make this vaguely about Venezuela.