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Social media raises questions on clocks, possible CIA operatives in White House tweet on Afghanistan

Much of the immediate reaction focused on whether two panels on screen for conference call appeared to show the operatives.

Published: August 16, 2021 4:51pm

Updated: August 16, 2021 5:06pm

A tweet Sunday by the White House showing pictures of President Biden hosting a video conference with other top U.S. officials about the Afghanistan crisis is raising several questions including why international clocks appear to show incorrect time and whether the identity of CIA operatives were exposed.

Much of the immediate reaction focused on whether two panels on the screen for the conference call appeared to show the operatives, then turned on why the Moscow and London clocks above the screen showed a three-hour time difference, when the difference now is just two hours.

One Twitter user questioned whether the photo in the White House tweet was in fact a file or stock photo, considering the time difference was two hours in March.

"Note the time in London and Moscow on the clocks,” tweeted @pdubdev. "Clocks show 3 hour time difference. However, there is currently only a 2 hour difference. Before March, London and Moscow have a 3 hour time difference because of daylight savings. Is this a stock photo?"


Another Twitter user, identified as Aldous Huxley’s Ghost ™, posted a similar question.

"Hi, @WhiteHouse, can you please explain why the clocks above the television show Standard Time rather than Daylight Savings Time?" the post reads. "Moscow will not be three hours different than London until November 7, 2021. This isn't a pre-March picture that's Photoshopped, is it?"

The White House tweet, which included a picture of Biden looking at the video screen with eight panels – including one labeled "CIA" and another labeled "Doha Station," in Qatar, reads: "This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul."

"Who took this picture outing Intel officials?! Dear God," tweeted Richard Grenell, a former U.S. diplomat and an acting director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration. 

Jim Geraghty, a senior political correspondent for the "National Review" magazine, tweeted: "Heck of a job, White House communications shop. I figure you would want to crop out the teleconference screens labeled "CIA" and "Doha Station." You panicking amateur idiots." 

Biden in a national TV address Monday afternoon did not address the questions raised about the White House tweet.

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