Supporters of US President Donald Trump inadvertently waved Russian flags at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday after two undercover protesters handed them out.
DW correspondent Maya Shwayder witnessed several people being tricked into waving the Russian flag at the annual three-day gathering of conservative activists and elected officials.
She reported that security guards later came round to collect the flags as one of the protesters called Trump a fascist.
Several other people tweeted photos of the flags, which were emblazoned with the word Trump written in gold lettering.
American monthly "The Atlantic" reported that two activists, Jason Charter, 22, and Ryan Clayton, 36, handed out about 1,000 of the red, white and blue flags ahead of Trump's speech at the conference.
"Most people didn't realize it was a Russian flag, or they didn't care," Charter told the magazine.
"I think there are multiple ways you can resist against Trump, and I think this is one way that's extremely effective," he said. "It shows how Trump and Russia are so connected, they are like peas in a pod!"
Trump and his appointees have faced increasing criticism in recent weeks for their seemingly close ties to Russia. Trump fired his national security advisor Michael Flynn for contact with Russia while White House chief of staff Reince Priebus admitted pressuring the FBI to publicly dispute media reports of contact with Russian intelligence agents.