Russian government releases photos of Oval Office meeting

Kristopher Drake
May 12, 2017

President Donald Trump has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov against the backdrop of a developing drama over the countries alleged involvement in the US Presidential election, and potential ties to Mr Trump's team.

Trump didn't mention Kislyak, and neither did the White House statement. On Wednesday, they focused on areas of budding agreement and Lavrov sought to blame the recent acrimony on former President Barack Obama.

"President Trump clearly confirmed his interest in building mutually beneficial, business-like pragmatic relations".

"It's a very low probability that the incursion generated a real security breach", said Jens David Ohlin, a dean at Cornell University Law School, where he teaches and studies global criminal law and security.

Lavrov joked about Comey's firing as he entered an earlier meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. None were apparently reached Wednesday. Last week, Russian Federation was accused of intervening in the presidential election in France, a close US ally.

Trump's meeting with Lavrov came the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who just recently asked for more money in the investigation into Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

In brief remarks to journalists after the meeting, Mr Trump said his decision to abruptly fire Mr Comey the day before meeting Mr Lavrov did not affect the meeting "at all".

"Was he fired?" he asked sarcastically.

It wasn't much of a laughing matter on Capitol Hill, where many Democrats (and some Republicans) called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump team's possible coordination with Russian Federation to hack the election. Trump insisted that wasn't the case.

In Moscow, a spokesman for the Kremlin said Trump's firing of Comey will have no effect on bilateral relations between the two countries.

Still, the overlap between the investigation and Trump's diplomatic efforts made for uncomfortable optics.

According to NPR, Lavrov's meeting with the president was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT and was reportedly closed to the USA press because the Russian press was tweeting all kinds of photos inside the Oval Office. Russian Federation denies the allegations. Those zones are envisioned under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Lavrov said that he hoped the United States would "make an active contribution" to securing the safe zones, especially in southern Syria near the borders with Israel and Jordan, where he said the USA may "initiate" the process. "Neither of us brought up this bacchanalia", Lavrov said.

US photographers were apparently prevented from attending the meeting in the Oval Office.

After his meeting with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov (L) made a quip about the sacking of the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.

"Putin doesn't want to follow the lead of those who are trying to poison our relations to the point of no return", he told reporters.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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