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Russian Official May Think Actor Kal Penn Is a Terrorist

'I can't stop laughing'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2015 6:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – We're trying to figure out if the Russian ambassador to Britain is unfamiliar with—or a huge fan of—American stoner comedies from the mid-2000s after he used a photo of actor Kal Penn to illustrate a tweet about terrorists Wednesday. The Washington Post reports Alexander Yakovenko tweeted a criticism of the United States opposing Iraqi cooperation with Russia that ended with "The terrorists must be rejoicing." His idea of a terrorist rejoicing? Penn dressed in a beard and turban from 2008's Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. "The Russian Federation ambassador to the UK tweeted this Harold & Kumar pic with seriousness," Penn tweeted. "I can't stop laughing."

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In addition to acting, Penn served as associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement from 2009 to 2010, and President Obama appointed him to the Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2013, the Hill reports. According to Foreign Policy, the New Jersey-born Indian American thanked Yakovenko by tweeting him a photo of Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren portraying Russian boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. And while Yakovenko has yet to respond, the Post reports the Russian Embassy in Britain tweeted Penn to let him know his performance as a rejoicing terrorist was "convincing"—which we assume is the highest praise ever given to Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo. (Read more Russia stories.)

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