The chummy White House visit-photos of the president yukking it up with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry since no us press was allowed to cover the visit-had been one of Putin's asks in his recent phone call with Trump, and indeed the White House acknowledged this to me later Wednesday.
The source said they had been misled, and thought the man was the official photographer of Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov - they were therefore surprised to see the photos on Russian news agency Tass a short time later.
TASS photographer Alexander Shcherbak is a staff photographer of the TASS agency, and regularly accompanies Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his foreign visits, also carrying out functions of the personal photographer of the head of the foreign ministry.
The photographer reportedly worked for Russia's state-owned news agency Tass but was described as Lavrov's official photographer. The ambassador was also not mentioned in the official White House readout of the meeting. "He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to", a White House spokesman said of Trump's Lavrov meeting.
The American media, however, never caught a glimpse of either Russian inside the White House. Zakharova also said that the United States side got in advance a list with details on the Russian photographer.
The sudden removal of the man who was investigating Trump's ties to Russian Federation has added an unexpected layer of intrigue before the president's ambitious journey to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome before meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels.
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The White House posted photos online of the meeting a full day later, but they did not include any images of Lavrov.
"To me the big issue is how does the president put out coherent messages on his domestic and foreign policy when there is so much incoherence in his White House".
In response to the White House official's complaint that the White House was "tricked", former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice said on Twitter: "No kidding!" "Was it a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office?" He said the White House rooms are "swept routinely" for bugging devices.
"This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency", Sessions wrote in a memo to USA attorneys made public early Friday. "But any breach at all would be catastrophic". On Wednesday morning before meeting with Trump, Lavrov even cracked a joke about his hosts' political predicament, laughingly claiming not to have heard of the Comey firing while standing alongside Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.
The official also rejected security concerns about allowing Russian officials into the Oval Office, including Kislyak, who is widely considered to be a spy by U.S. intelligence officials. Fourth from right is Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.
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