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Trump and Russia's Lavrov talk Syria at White House

Shadowed by an investigation into Moscow's interference in the US election, US President Donald Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the White House May 10.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10:  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talk to reporters in the Treaty Room before heading into meetings at the State Department May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Tillerson is hosting Lavrov to discuss Syria, Ukraine and other bilaterial issues, according to the State Department.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — One day after he abruptly fired the FBI director investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, President Donald Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the White House May 10, in Lavrov’s first trip to Washington since 2013. The meeting was closed to US reporters or even a press pool, but the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted photos of Trump warmly greeting and shaking hands with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, whose meetings with Trump associates during the campaign and transition have been a subject of the FBI investigation.

Strangely, no official US photographs of the meeting were released by the White House, adding to the sense of strangeness and signs of growing anxiety and alarm in the Trump White House at the investigations into whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian campaign to tip the election in Trump’s favor. When the White House press pool was assembled to drop in on what they thought would be the Trump/Lavrov meeting, they found instead Trump sitting with an aged and shrinking Henry Kissinger, now 93, who had served as national security adviser when President Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal in 1974.

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