Russian government releases photos of Oval Office meeting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, responding Wednesday to shouted questions from reporters at the State Department concerning the firing of FBI Director James Comey, said sardonically: "Was he fired?" He's a popular figure in Putin's government, and he wasn't affected by the sanctions that targeted many top officials after Russian invaded Crimea in 2014.

Trump has said he has no ties to Russia and isn't aware of any involvement by his aides in any Russian election interference.

As the two men then turned to leave, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News shouted out: "Does the Comey firing cast a shadow over your talks, gentlemen?"

White House officials told the publication that they were not expecting to see the photos of the meeting posted online by the Russian news agency. "You are kidding. You are kidding".

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

"It will have no affect", Putin said through an interpreter. Yesterday, Donald Trump fired the director of the FBI, who was overseeing an investigation into Russia's attack on our election, and the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Moscow.

Russian Federation has allied itself with the Assad regime in seeking to end the civil war in Syria, and Israelis increasingly fear Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, will end up with a permanent presence in the country.

"We do not announce personnel changes, if and when relevant decrees are signed by the president, we will inform you about it", Peskov told reporters.

Still, Tillerson's meeting provided a blueprint for how the former Cold War foes might go about improving ties.

In particular, Tillerson and Lavrov are expected to discuss the "de-escalation zones" inside Syria that Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to create last week. Russian Federation is reportedly pushing for a creation of de-escalation zones even though finer details of the plan are yet to be finalized. "At the same time, there is the need here to have cautious optimism now as a lot of work is ahead", TASS cited Peskov as saying. The White House, however, did not elaborate further on Trump's meeting with Lavrov.

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