Mic reporter deletes tweet claiming alleged Russian spy was photographed in the Oval Office with Trump

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Mic reporter Emily Singer has deleted a tweet and apologized after stating that an alleged Russian spy, who was recently arrested, was photographed in the Oval Office in 2017.

“I thought this was a photoshop, but its not. This is Maria Butina — arrested for being a spy — in the Oval Office with Trump,” Singer originally wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

The woman in the photo was quickly confirmed by other outlets to actually be National Security Council staffer Cari Lutkins.

{mosads}The photo was retweeted nearly 4,000 times and liked more than 5,800 times before Singer deleted it.

“OK all, this may be Cari Lutkins from the NSC. I may delete this tweet …” Singer first wrote before apologizing.

“I’ve deleted the tweet. I cannot confirm that it is Butina and may be an NSC staffer,” she added after deleting the initial tweet.

“This morning I made a serious error in tweeting about a meeting in the Oval Office in 2017. The information was incorrect, and I deleted the tweet within an hour, as soon as I realized the mistake. I apologize for any confusion,” wrote Singer on Tuesday afternoon.

The 29-year-old Butina, a Russian citizen, was charged on Monday with “conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General,” the Department of Justice announced.

“The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation,” reads a release from the Department of Justice.

Singer is listed as a senior writer on her Mic bio page.

–This report was updated on July 18 at 10:27 a.m.

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