#StayWoke: President Meets With Russians Day After Comey Firing
- Author: Leroy Wright May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 15:20
Discussions with the USA president focused on the de-escalation zone plans put forward by Lavrov's U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson earlier in the day, Lavrov told reporters in Washington. The zones would not cover areas where the USA -led coalition is fighting the Islamic State group, but enforcement and other questions remain unanswered. A bombshell New York Times report, for example, found that Comey had asked the Justice Department for more resources to investigate Trump's ties to Russian Federation just days before he was sacked. He portrayed the Kremlin and the Trump administration as working together to clear up the mess left behind, a reference in part to the continuing U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation for its intervention in Ukraine and its role in the United States presidential election. Sessions had been asked directly during his confirmation if he'd had contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign and he had said no. And get this: Remember Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, and the man at the center of Michael Flynn's ouster from the White House?
On Syria, where Russian Federation has backed Assad's forces and the U.S. has supported anti-Assad rebels, the talks appeared to indicate a slight narrowing of differences.
The US missile strike angered Moscow and led Lavrov to declare that "it's sad how damaging this is to the already bad relations between US and Russian Federation".
Tillerson and Lavrov are meeting at the State Department, and then Lavrov heads to the White House to see President Donald Trump.
The timing of Comey's firing has raised a lot of questions.
That meeting, held Wednesday morning, was with Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister. Before that, he was Russia's ambassador to the United Nations in NY from 1994 to 2004.
Tillerson and Lavrov agreed in a meeting to continue dialogue on areas of mutual concern, including stability.
The pair's face-to-face meeting comes ahead of an Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The two were expected to discuss closer U.S.
"The United States and Russian Federation agreed to continue discussions to resolve other issues of bilateral concern, including strategic stability", the release stated.
Lavrov addressed the issue in his press conference, saying the fabricated stories were hurting ties between the two countries. Tillerson thanked Lavrov for traveling to Washington and expressed gratitude to Lavrov for playing host in Moscow in April.
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.
In contrast, he credited Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom he met earlier in the day, with taking a "businesslike" approach that is "free from ideology", focused on reaching agreements.