US denies viral chat's authenticity

US denies viral chat's authenticity

The Line chat between a protest leader and a former US Embassy official is a complete fabrication, the US Embassy in Bangkok spokeswoman told Bangkok Post yesterday.

"We have noted social media posts over the weekend of April 17-18 purporting to show a LINE chat between a former US Embassy official and a Thai political activist.

"The LINE chat is a complete fabrication," Nicole Fox said.

"The official in question departed Thailand in July of 2020, does not have a LINE account, and has not had any communication with the Thai citizen referenced in the posts," she said.

She was referring to screen grab of a Line chat discussing political protest movements in Thailand including the protests -- which was said to be between activist Chonticha Jangrew, and a former diplomat identified as "H", believed to be the embassy's former political counsellor Henry Rector.

The screen grab, which made the rounds on social media recently, attracted a firestorm of criticism from Thai netizens, some of whom criticised the US for meddling in Thai domestic matters.

Ms Chonthicha has also spoke out against the screen grabs, saying while she would update foreign diplomats about the current situation in Thailand, she would never talk to someone from an embassy via Line, as it is not secure.

On the US's stance for Thai politics, Ms Fox referred to a previous statement on disinformation from Sept 11 last year and reiterated that the US government is not funding or otherwise providing support to any of the protests in Thailand.

Last year's statement reads, "Ambassadors and Embassy personnel regularly meet with a broad cross section of Thai nationals, not just with students and youth, but also with government, military, business and other leaders. Such meetings do not imply endorsement of any views.

"The United States government is not funding or otherwise providing support to any of the protests in Thailand.

"The United States does not support any individual or political party; we support the democratic process and the rule of law."

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