Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived at the State Department for a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, amid political turmoil, after Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
During a photo op ahead of their sit-down meeting, NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell asked whether the firing of Comey “cast a shadow over your talks.”
Lavrov responded by sarcastically asking “was he fired?” When the reporter confirmed the firing, he said, “you’re kidding, you’re kidding?” Displaying a mocking shrug, smirk and shake of the head, he waved off the question before disappearing with Tillerson beyond the eyes of the media.
Lavrov’s meeting with Trump and Tillerson occurred less than 24 hours after news of the Comey firing, which brought about much criticism and opposition from Democrats and some Republicans. Those opposing the firing of Comey are requesting that an independent investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including alleged collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, takes place.
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell was chastised by Russia’s foreign minister Wednesday as he was holding a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Moscow.
Officials at the White House, defaulted into damage control, in their attempts to mitigate Trump’s past praise of Comeys’ decisions regarding the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, gave several interviews, since Comeys’ firing on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. She was adamant about separating “Campaign Trump” and “President Trump.” When asked about the Trump’s shifting views of Comey, Conway said in a Wednesday morning interview on CNN,
“You’re talking about President Trump on the campaign with respect to Jim Comey. He’s the President, and he is faced with new evidence about the way people at the FBI and the way people on both sides of the aisle and elsewhere feel about Director Comey,”
Trump trolls Democrats on Twitter about his decision to fire Comey. Referring to Democrats who “play so sad,” Trump spent Wednesday morning rebutting cable news that he didn’t agree with, and reports about the Comey firing to include the Russia investigation in real time.