Trump Meets With Russia's Lavrov At The White House Today

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 13, 2017

Lavrov met with Trump and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against the backdrop of the US leader's firing of his Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, who was leading a probe into Russia's alleged meddling in 2016's US election.

Later, Trump told the White House press pool that the meeting with Lavrov went well.

Moreover, Lavrov said the issue was not discussed with Tillerson nor during his meeting with Trump. And in a surprise, Trump greeted the media with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

In a report on the meeting, The Washington Post noted that it is highly unusual for a president to meet with foreign individuals who are at the center of scandals.

Trump said he and Kissinger had met to talk "about Russian Federation and various other matters", according to the pool report. "Very simply. He was not doing a good job".

On Tuesday evening, Lavrov arrived in Washington on a three-day working visit.

The White House called reporters into the Oval Office around the time of the meeting, but Lavrov and Kislyak had already left.

"These were meetings that had been on the books for a while", said deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Secretary of State Tillerson is very familiar with U.S.

When a reporter asked whether the dismissal has "cast a shadow" over their talks, Lavrov stopped and seemed to look genuinely quizzical when he responded, "Was he fired?" - but then adopted a deadpan tone as he told the reporter, "You are kidding, you are kidding".

As far as the day's discussions are concerned, the White House and the State Department put out terse statements, and gave no briefing, leaving it once again to the Russians to frame the presentation.

A January 6 unclassified report by the USA intelligence community found that Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election "to undermine public faith in the United States democratic process" and "denigrate" Hillary Clinton".

At a press conference in the Russian embassy, Lavrov praised Trump and portrayed the Kremlin and the Trump administration as working together to clear up the mess left behind, a reference in part to the continuing USA sanctions on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine and its role in the US presidential elections.

Since the end of Obama's presidency in January, the United States has gradually withdrawn from the diplomatic process, leaving Russian Federation to take the lead.

"This is nothing less than Nixonian", said Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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