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Russian official blames D.C. shooting on 'American exceptionalism'

A Russian government official tweeted Monday that the deadly Washington Navy Yard shooting is just another example of "American exceptionalism."

Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russia's Parliament, sent the gloating tweet a little after 10 a.m. ET Monday morning, even as the alleged D.C. shooter was still at large and details of the shooting were unconfirmed.

"A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington – a lone gunman and 7 corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore,” Pushkov tweeted.

The tweet was first translated by BuzzFeed’s Max Seddon, but Pushkov later tweeted in English after receiving a wave of angry replies from Americans. 


At least 12 people have been confirmed dead and others injured in the Navy Yard shooting, according to D.C. police officials.

Pushkov has a history of controversial tweeting, having regularly dispatched messages about the Edward Snowden case.  Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office issued a formal rebuke to Pushkov for tweeting that Snowden had accepted political asylum in Venezuela; the tweet was later deleted. 

Last week Putin also criticized the notion of "American exceptionalism" in an op-ed article published in the New York Times. "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," he wrote. Putin was responding to comments President Barack Obama made earlier in the week during an address to the nation in which he made his case for taking military action in Syria. "I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional," Obama said.