A tea cup found by US reporter and photographer James Corbett has ignited a political firestorm, with critics claiming the contents could be used for blackmail.
The tea cup, which Corbett made public in October 2016, was found in the kitchen of his home in rural Georgia in a photo taken by a friend.
The cup was initially reported to be made of a ceramic and is believed to be a white, plastic container with a black top and lid.
But the contents of the cup were so unusual that the White House issued a statement that said the contents were not tea, but a plastic cup with “an inscription reading: ‘Tea’.”
The statement said that in the photo, Mr Corbett’s wife, Karen, was sitting next to him on the sofa, the cup was upside down and he was drinking from it,” Al Jazeera’s Joanna Coughlan reports from Washington.
She adds: “The photo shows that this is clearly not tea.
It is a very small cup and it is not even water.
“The Washington Post published a statement by President Donald Trump, saying the contents “do not match the description of a traditional cup used by the Cherokee Nation”.”
I would never ever intentionally defame the Cherokee people, nor would I do anything to harm them,” the statement read.”
However, we cannot ignore the serious consequences that could result from a false statement that the tea was tea, or that it contained poison.”‘
It’s not tea’A Tea Party website has set up a fundraiser for the Corbett family.
The Tea Party Patriots said the cup has no relation to tea and is made from a variety of plants.
The group is asking people to donate money to support the Corbetts.”
James has dedicated his life to exposing corruption, and this tea cup is the latest example of his efforts to do the same,” it said.”
As a result of this scandal, James and his family will be subject to extortion attempts and criminal investigations.
The Tea Party Patriot team is taking legal action to protect their rights and to keep James and Karen safe.
“The cup, now in the possession of the US Secret Service, is now being examined by the Secret Service and has not yet been returned to the family.”
We hope to return the cup to the Corbesetts soon,” the group said.