Chimney Sweep

Russian Consulate Mysteriously Burns ‘Unidentified Objects’ after Trump Orders It to Shut

Black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Russian consulate in San Francisco on Friday, a day after President Donald Trump ordered the closure.

Russia was ordered to close the consulate and two diplomatic annexes in New York and Washington until Saturday.

The San Francisco Fire Department sent a team to investigate but was ultimately turned away by consulate staff.

An Associated Press reporter heard people coming out of the consulate telling firefighters that everything was OK and that the smoke was due to “unidentified items” being burned in a fireplace.

Mindy Talamadge, a fire department spokeswoman, confirmed to the AP that firefighters were dispatched to the consulate and found the smoke was coming from the chimney.

Talamadge also noted that it was a hot day in the city, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees at lunchtime, and she wasn't sure what might have burned there.

“It wasn’t unintentional. They burned something in their fireplace,” Talamadge told the AP.

Some on social media speculated that consulate staff burned documents.

A fire truck showed up at the Russian consulate in San Francisco, where documents or other items were apparently burned

— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) September 1, 2017

The Trump administration's decision to order Russia to close its consulate, the oldest in the United States, comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow.

In late July, Congress voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia over its interference in the 2016 election. Trump eventually agreed, albeit somewhat reluctantly, to sign the legislation imposing the sanctions.

Moscow responded by ordering the expulsion of 755 US diplomats. Trump controversially thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for doing so, but later claimed he was being sarcastic.

The decision to close the consulate and two diplomatic annexes was made directly by the president, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

In a statement about the move, the US State Department said: “The United States hopes that, having complied with the Russian Federation's desire for parity, we can avoid further retaliation from both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both sides .” of our Presidents: improved relations between our two countries and increased cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The United States stands ready to take further action if necessary and warranted.

While speaking to students in Moscow on Friday about these latest developments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would “respond harshly to things that harm us.”

Unusual knowledge

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.

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