Pepe the Frog, the meme of choice for the Alt-Right movement, appeared in a tweet Monday by Great Britain’s Russian Embassy. According to Haaretz, the tweet was a sarcastic response to demands that British PM Theresa May counter President-Elect Donald Trump’s fondness for Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
“In today’s papers: pundits call on @Theresa_May to disrupt possible Russia-US thaw,” the tweet’s caption read. “No trust in Britain’s best friend and ally?”
The tweet was apparently a response to reports about a meeting Monday between UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Trump’s key advisers. According to the BBC, officials said U.S. foreign policy towards Russia, China, and Syria were discussed.
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) January 9, 2017
The tweet may also have been prompted by an editorial Monday in the Financial Times, which urged May to “use any influence over the Trump administration to urge a move away from the president-elect’s campaign rhetoric on Nato. He has already pulled away from the western orthodoxy on climate change and it could be dangerous if the same happened on the security of Europe.”
Earlier in January, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said the U.S. “can’t be treating Russia as an equal. Russia is a strategic competitor to us in the West and we have to understand that.”
Originally created in 2005 by artist Matt Furie as part of the comic strip Boy’s Club, Pepe has been added by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to its database of hate symbols.
In a September interview with the Atlantic, Furie said the political agenda associated with Pepe “is exactly the opposite of my own personal feelings, but in terms of meme culture, it’s people reapproppriating things for their own agenda. That’s just a product of the internet. And I think people in whatever dark corners of the internet are just trying to one up each other on how shocking they can make Pepe appear.”