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White House furious after being trolled with Russia Oval Office photos

11 May 2017

The meeting occurred a day after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was heading a counterintelligence investigation into possible ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

The talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were the highest-level public contact between Trump and the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the Republican took office on January 20. On Wednesday, they focused on areas of budding agreement.

"We had a very, very good meeting with Mr. Lavrov, and I thought it was very good", Trump said. Under former US President Barack Obama, a Kremlin spokesman said "nearly all levels of dialogue had been frozen".

Lavrov, who earlier met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said his discussions with members of the Trump administration had convinced him they were people who wanted to cut deals and solve problems. None was apparently reached Wednesday.

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Now a White House official tells CNN's Jim Acosta that the Trump administration is "furious" at the Russians for posting the photos, as they claimed they were not told beforehand that any pictures would be posted on state-run social media accounts.

"This is the US president's sovereign decision which does not have anything to do with Russian Federation and should not have anything to do with Russian Federation", said Dmitry Peskov, according to the Associated Press.

Lavrov said no evidence existed linking Russia to hacked Democratic Party emails and that the issue of Russian interference in the campaign did not arise in his meeting with Trump, according to the report. Lavrov called it a US decision, echoing Putin, who said Russian Federation had nothing to do with Comey's dismissal.

"Was he fired? You're kidding", Lavrov said sarcastically, feigning surprise as he started his day of meetings in Washington. When asked whether the Comey dismissal had affected his meeting, Trump said, "not at all". "Neither of us brought up this bacchanalia", Lavrov said. But Lavrov's delegation got Tass, a Russian news agency, in to take photos.

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Russia's Foreign Ministry tweeted the photos.

Trump, speaking to reporters after his meeting with Lavrov, didn't mention Kislyak, and neither did the White House statement.

Michael Flynn's failure to disclose meetings with Kislyak eventually led to his departure as national security adviser and made the Russian diplomat a virtual household name.

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