On September 18, a Facebook page აზიმუტი (Azimuth) disseminated information about an alleged connection of the Western elite with pedophilia and brought “senator” brothers from the White House who, according to Azimuth, were accused of kidnapping of a child, as an example. The Facebook post mentions that Podesta brothers were involved in various scandals and that they appear in the Madeleine McCann case, who disappeared in 2007. However, Azimuth says that they were legally inviolable due to their influence.
Azimuth’s claim that Podesta brothers were accused of kidnapping Madeleine McCann is a conspiracy theory, originating in 2016. United Kingdom continues the investigation on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, however there are no evidences against Podesta brothers in the case. The conspiracy is connected to the identikits disseminated by the British Police that, according to fake news websites, resembled John and Tony Podesta. However, the identikits show not two, but one man aged 20-40, as described by several witnesses. In 2007, Tony Podesta was 64, whereas John Podesta was 58.
- Police is still investigating Madeleine McCann case.
The incident took place in May 2007, when McCann family was on a vacation in Portugal. Parents left a 3-year-old Madeleine at home and went to a nearby restaurant only to find that the child was gone after coming back home. The Madeleine McCann disappearance case has been underway for years. First Portuguese and then British police were engaged in the investigation. Throughout 12 years, police had several suspects, however, their charges have not yet been proven. The British Government states that it will continue the investigation until 2020.
Netflix has made a documentary on Madeleine McCann, however the parents of Madeleine refused to participate in the series.
- Conspiracy on Podesta brothers was disseminated in 2016.
According to the Washington Post and Poynter, the conspiracy that was being actively disseminated in November 2016, is known as Pizzagate. The conspiracy was initially disseminated by a Twitter user whose account is currently deleted. Later, a famous fake news website YourNewsWire published the conspiracy and facilitated its dissemination.
When WikiLeaks published personal e-mails of John Podesta, the head of Hillary Clinton election campaign in 2016, the food mentioned in the e-mails paved the way to conspiracies. According to the conspiracy theory, the food represented code words and connected Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to child trafficking. In addition, together with Clinton and a group of pedophiles, judging from the “code words”, a Washington DC-based Comet Ping Pong pizzeria was also engaged in child trafficking. After the dissemination of this information, the owner of Comet Ping Pong received threatening letters. There was even a case when a 28-year-old man opened fire in the restaurant, fortunately injuring no one.
YourNewsWire’s publication was virally disseminated on social media and followed by a new conspiracy theory that Tony and John Podesta were allegedly in Portugal in 2007 and kidnapped Madeleine McCann.
In 2013, British Police published two identikits of the person suspected in kidnapping Madeleine McCann. The identikits visually resembled Podesta brothers. Social media and conspiracy websites actively started to connect the identikits to John and Tony Podesta. It is hard to identify the primary source of this specific conspiracy, however, an ultra-right propagandist website Truthfeed.com was one of the first to publish the given disinformation.
Source: snopes.com archive
In fact, the identikit pictures not two, but one person, described by several witnesses. Moreover, the witnesses described the suspect as a white man with short brown hair, aged 20-40. In 2007, when Madeleine was kidnapped, Tony Podesta was 64, while John Podesta was 58. In addition, there are no evidences that Podesta brothers were in Portugal in May 2007.
- Who are the “senator” Podesta brothers?
John Podesta was working in the White House since 1990s, was an advisor to Barack Obama in 2014-2015 and the Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s election campaign in 2016. WikiLeaks published John Podesta’s e-mails related to the Clinton campaign. John Podesta’s brother – Tony Podesta is one of the most influential lobbyists and the founder of Podesta Group, however, after Robert Mueller’s investigation on the cooperation with pro-Russian groups in Ukraine was launched, Tony Podesta left the company. The given investigation was related to the possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by Podesta Group.
Facebook page Azimuth was created on December 19, 2017. The “About” section of the page mentions that it works in the military-analytical direction and aims to inform the population around security issues. Apart from Georgia, the page has an administrator in Russia, France, and Austria.
Azimuth got into the area of Myth Detector’s interest after it published an interview with the Special Representative of NATO Secretary General in Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai with a misleading title, like many other media outlets.
Other manipulative materials disseminated by Azimuth are available through the link below:
- RIA Novosti’s Fake Quotes and Georgian Media Manipulations on Rasmussen’s Remarks