Russian government releases photos of Oval Office meeting

16 May, 2017, 09:03 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson right shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the State Department in Washington Wednesday

The White House official insisted it is standard practice to keep more of a lid on presidential meetings with lower-level foreign officials.

It was Trumps' first face-to-face meeting with a top-level Russian diplomat since he took office in January.

The Russian diplomat steadfastly refused to weigh in on Trump's decision to fire James Comey, the former FBI director, who had been overseeing investigations of alleged Russian interference in the US election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign.

Comey's dismissal escalated concerns in both parties that Trump may be trying to undermine an investigation that appears to be gaining steam.

Former CIA deputy director David Cohen said it was not a good idea at all to let a Russian news agency and its equipment inside the Oval Office. He's also publicly said that he was looking forward to beginning a dialogue with Trump and his administration. He stressed Russias responsibility to fully implement the Minsk agreement. In fact, he didn't seem - or at least pretend - to have known that the night before his arrival, President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey. Many are speculating the sacking was linked to the FBI investigations into Trump's links with Russian Federation.

The Washington Post reports that Comey had requested more resources from the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, according to two unidentified officials, a week before he was sacked by Trump.

He's brushing off the questions as "noise" about Russians' contacts with people in Trump's campaign.

Russian Federation denies the allegations.

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Before visiting the White House, Lavrov and Tillerson huddled to discuss the crises in Syria and Ukraine-talks qualified by the veteran Russian diplomat as "constructive".

"Was he fired? You're kidding".

He then added: "I believe that poiticians are damaging the political system of the U.S.". Everyone in the Trump administration understands that these were illegitimate actions.

Wednesday's meetings followed talks Tillerson held with Putin last month in Moscow.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Donald Trump brushed aside concerns over his wooing of Russian Federation on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) and laid on a White House welcome for Moscow's top diplomat to seek help to end the war in Syria.

"On Syria, the Secretary intends to discuss efforts to de-escalate violence, provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and set the stage for a political settlement of the conflict", said a statement issued by the State Department. "You're kidding", Lavrov told reporters sarcastically before waving his hand dismissively and leaving the room.

When a reporter asked if President Trump's firing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director Tuesday "cast a shadow on your talks", Lavrov responded with a joke.

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