Putin and Trump to meet in July

13 May, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Celia Hoffman

"The Russian Journalists' Union expresses solidarity with a colleague, photographer Aleksandr Shcherbak, who has become another target of attacks by CNN journalists and their charges of deceit and allegedly illegal publication of photographs of US President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov", the statement runs. If confirmed, it would be the two men's first meeting since Trump took power in January.

According to a New York Times story, Comey was asked by Trump during the dinner for his loyalty.

Asked about the same issue again, Lavrov said, "I thought we were all grow-ups here".

"We had an official photographer in the room, as did they", spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

The meeting came one day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey with a letter that said it was "essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence".

Trump has repeatedly denounced as "fake news" the accusations that members of his circle coordinated or colluded with Russian officials.

Critics allege the decision had more to do with the investigation Comey was leading into whether members of Trump's campaign team colluded with Russian Federation in its interference in the 2016 election. Comey is said to have responded that he would offer honesty, but could not offer political loyalty.

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The White House defended the decision not to allow any independent press into the meeting.

Lavrov said the allegations had been flying "for months", with no evidence presented.

Meanwhile, the new administration has been beleaguered over its Russian Federation connection. The State Department did post photos of Lavrov's meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but that was open to the press.

Ankara strongly opposes US support of the YPG, viewing it as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which has waged a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey.

In 2009 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton marked the launch of an attempted rebooting of relations with Russian Federation by handing Lavrov a symbolic "reset button" during a meeting in Geneva.

Other major irritants included Russian objections to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation missile defense plans - objections that predated the Obama administration - US concerns about President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian policies at home, and mutual distrust over each other's actions and agendas in the Syrian civil war.


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