WashPost Worries About Russian Listening Devices in the White House
- Author: Leroy Wright May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 15:19
"Deadly serious Q: Was it a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office?" Attorney General Jeff Sessions also recused himself of anything related to the Russian Federation investigation after it came out that he, as a USA senator, had met twice with Kislyak in July and September, interactions he did not disclose when asked at his Senate confirmation hearing this year for the attorney general position.
Russia's top diplomat met President Donald Trump on Wednesday and praised the USA administration as problem solvers, just as the White House drew criticism over the firing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director who was leading a probe into Moscow's alleged interference in US politics.
At issue is not just the fact that White House officials were so easily misled by the Russian envoy.
"Our official photographer and their official photographer were present - that's it", a White House aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity, lacking authorisation to describe the ground rules. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, highlighted it in a video posted to its official feed.
It was all smiles Wednesday when President Trump welcomed Russia's foreign minister and US ambassador to the White House. Kislyak's meetings with now Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former national security adviser Michael Flynn have been the subject of intense scrutiny by investigators and news media.
As reported, Trump hosted Klimkin in the White House and discussed with him the situation in Donbas and further support of Kyiv by Washington.
Earlier at the State Department, Lavrov made a joke when a reporter asked if Comey's firing would "cast a shadow on your talks".
"Was he fired?" Lavrov quipped in response to Mitchell's second attempt, arching his eyebrows.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us", he said.
He then jerked his head back in a dismissive gesture and walked away, shaking his head.
"A Comical Firing" was the headline on the Comey story on Russia's pro-Kremlin NTV news channel.
Lavrov arrived in Washington on Tuesday and met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this morning.
A search for "Oval Office" via Getty Images shows a plethora of photos of President Trump posing for photos with Russian officials, including those credited to Anadolu Agency, out of Turkey. He said the Obama administration had driven U.S.
"It appears that the President and Secretary Tillerson were more focused on making friends with Minister Lavrov than confronting Putin's envoy on Russia's troubling behavior", Engel said in a statement. More recently, he has advised Trump on key appointments and praised his leadership.