For most of Thursday morning, former Obama administration White House staffer Valerie Jarrett hovered near the top of social media trends, but the reason is dubious and, possibly, unsubstantiated.
Jarrett, who served in as an aide to the former president for eight years, became a trending topic because of an article on the U.K. Daily Mail’s website claiming that she moved into Obama’s rental home in Washington D.C.’s posh Kalorama neighborhood in to plot an ousting of President Donald Trump. But the article cites an unnamed source, and so far no other media outlet has confirmed this or that Jarrett and Obama are plotting to overthrow the Trump administration, forcing an impeachment or resignation.
But that’s not stopping certain blogs and websites from trumpeting the Daily Mail’s post around the internet. In turn, conservatives and right-wing types all over Twitter and other social media are also spreading the claim.
What has been confirmed is that the Obamas have taken residence in the 8,200-square-foot home, which sits about two miles from the White House. There’s been no indication that it will serve as some new anti-Trump war room from Obama’s office or any other official source.
What is peculiar is that this allegation sprouted up the morning after news surfaced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. prior to the presidential election while he was still an Alabama senator, which Sessions did not disclose this during his Senate confirmation hearings. His spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that he had met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016.
Sessions is facing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans who believe he may have misled the Senate during the hearings. He denies that he met with the Russians to discuss the Trump campaign. Evidence has mounted, however, that Russian hackers interfered in the U.S. election and allegations have followed the Trump administration that Russians helped orchestrate his election.
“I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign,” Sessions told NBC News, “and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false. And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”
Because of this, the attorney general is at the very top of Twitter trends as some call for his resignation, accusing him of deceiving senators at his confirmation hearing. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus ardently opposed Sessions’ confirmation because of his past record on civil rights. Further, Corretta Scott King had written a letter in 1986 criticizing Sessions’ actions toward Black voting rights in Alabama.
Even if it is true that Jarrett has moved into the Obama house, which she is free to do, there’s still no evidence to confirm some type of anti-Trump conspiracy. On the other hand, if it turns out Sessions lied under oath in a Senate confirmation hearing, he can be charged with a federal crime.
For its part, the Twitterverse sees through the ruse and is calling the diversion from Sessions to Jarrett what it is.
Conservatives are tweeting about Valerie Jarrett
Nice try losers
Won’t change conversation about #Sessions perjury and treason
— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) March 2, 2017
Deplorables now think the #Sessions uproar is a plot by Obama and Valerie Jarrett to engineer a coup. ????????????
— Jesse Stark (@StopNuclearWar) March 2, 2017
Lol, Valerie Jarrett is trending because Trumpers are trying to divert from the fact #Sessions LIED under oath, which is a federal crime.
— MovieJay (@MovieJay) March 2, 2017
Valerie Jarrett is the classic Trump distraction deflecton tactic. EDUCATED Americans are disgusted and embarrassed by this Sessions problem
— (((merida montero))) (@Goodluckbeer) March 2, 2017