Why Were US Photographers Absent at the Trump-Lavrov Meeting?

Trump fires FBI director James Comey

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the Kremlin had no interest in Comey's firing.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Putin had ordered an effort to disrupt the 2016 election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Trump.

Senior Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said the Oval Office encounter was a photo opportunity for Russian Federation.

"The previous administration bent over backwards to undermine the solid foundation of our relations", Lavrov told reporters at the Russian Embassy after meeting Trump.

Relations only worsened in the weeks following Trump's decision last month to bomb the Syrian airfield where the Bashar Assad regime - a key ally of Russian Federation - reportedly carried out a chemical attack on its own people.

"The Trump administration, and the president himself, and the secretary of state, I was persuaded of this once again today, are people of action", Lavrov said.

Lavrov chalked up the controversy to "noise" and to "false news" - invoking Trump's frequent references to the Russian Federation allegations as "fake news".

A comprehensive investigation is needed on allegations of Russian interference in the USA election and possible Trump campaign ties to Moscow, former diplomat Richard Haass said Thursday.

Jose Mourinho confirms Manchester United are giving up on the Premier League
Joao Castelo-Branco and Mark Ogden react to Arsenal's win over Man United, and the state of each club late in the season. Mourinho was rather more theatrical on the subject of his first competitive defeat against Wenger. "I left Highbury.

"Was he fired? You're kidding", Lavrov said sarcastically, feigning surprise as he started his day of meetings in Washington.

On Syria, where Russian Federation has backed President Bashar Assad's forces and the USA has supported anti-Assad rebels, the talks appeared to indicate a slight narrowing of differences.

Zakharova added that from the Russian side, the meeting was attended by a TASS news agency photo correspondent who was acting as Lavrov's personal photographer during the latter's trip to the U.S., and that all pictures he shot during the meeting were made freely available on the Russian Foreign Ministry's official website and via social media. Lavrov said the meeting mainly focused on ideas of de-escalation zones in Syria.

"As active players in the diplomatic process regarding Syria, we are going to pursue these contacts together and with other key countries, especially those in the region", Lavrov said. I believe that in this situation everyone understands that it's real hysteria in the U.S. media. The zones would not cover areas where the US -led coalition is fighting the Islamic State group, but enforcement and other questions remain unanswered.

"We want to see the killing, the terrible killing, stopped in Syria as soon as possible and everyone is working towards that end", Trump told reporters.

Lavrov said he had sought support for a plan to create safe zones in Syria.

In his earlier meeting with Lavrov, Tillerson emphasized the USA wouldn't lift sanctions on Russian Federation related to Ukraine until Russian Federation reverses the actions that triggered the punishment - namely, its Crimea annexation. Both are scheduled to travel to Germany for a Group of 20 leaders' meeting.

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