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White House Spokesman: Trump Met With Russian Foreign Minister Because ‘Putin Asked Him To’


White House Spokesman: Trump Met With Russian Foreign Minister Because ‘Putin Asked Him To’

President Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday was personally requested by Russian President Vladimir Putin during Trump’s last phone call with the foreign leader, according to Politico.

“He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to,” the White House spokesman said. “Putin did specifically ask on the call when they last talked.”

Trump expressed “his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia” during the meeting, the White House said in a statement.

Trump’s meeting with Lavrov came just hours after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was leading the FBI’s investigation into possible ties and collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian officials.

Politico adds:

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 U.S. press was allowed to cover the visit

NBC News adds:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in the U.S. in the midst of a political maelstrom following President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, news which adds an additional degree of significance to the trip — a fact that wasn’t lost on the visiting dignitary.

“Was he fired?” he sarcastically answered NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, who shouted a question about the move overshadowing the U.S.-Russia talks. “You are kidding. You are kidding.”


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