December 12, 2019
President Donald Trump tweeted out a grinning photo of himself during an Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on December 10—the same day on which the House Democratic Leadership Team held a press conference announcing two articles of impeachment against the POTUS.
The question remains, Did Vladimir Putin set up the photo opportunity the day after his arbitration talks with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine? The visit by the top Russian minister would have signaled to the world that Russia—not Ukraine—is the nation that currently is receiving American backing. What’s more, this was Lavrov’s second meeting in the Oval Office, while Zelensky still awaits his first.
Or did President Trump, himself, seek to play Russian roulette—documenting his close relationship with Putin’s enemy nation, even while the U.S. Congress made a case against him for advancing his own political agenda instead of supporting an ally.
The photo shows a smiling Trump seated at the Resolute Desk, with Vladimir Putin’s top foreign policy emissary standing to his right. Both men are looking forward, presumably toward an official White House photographer.
The official explanation for the meeting from the White House? In a readout, the administration said that President Trump had warned Lavrov against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections and urged Russia to resolve the conflict with Ukraine.
But Trump chose a weaker verb—
‘meddling’ in his own personal assessment of the encounter. He tweeted: ‘Just had a very good meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of Russia. Discussed many items including Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling. Look forward to continuing our dialogue in the near future!’
And after the meeting, Lavrov, himself, said that the elections had not come up during his private meeting with the president.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the narrative of Russian election interference in 2016, and blasted the Russia probe as a ‘witch hunt.’ He is captured in a call transcript with the president of Ukraine pushing a theory of Ukrainian election interference.
Research contact: @DailyMailUK