Saturday, May 13, 2017

Trump still in denial Russian ambassador attended White House meeting
"The White House didn’t want anybody to know that President Trump met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, and nobody would have known if Russian media hadn’t published multiple photos of all three of them in the Oval Office. But with that cat out of the bag, the administration — “furious” about the Russian photos — is still pretending like Kislyak wasn’t there. Thursday evening, Trump tweeted out a photo of his meeting, and it neither showed nor mentioned Kislyak. Indeed, the White House has released its own photos of the meeting, but none of them include Kislyak, even though he was clearly present according to the photos published by TASS, Russia’s state-owned media agency. Kislyak was also absent from the original scheduling of the meeting and went similarly unmentioned in the White House’s readout of the meeting. It seems as though Kislyak, who has been Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2008, meets with a lot of people, but nobody wants to admit it. In March, Politico called him “Washington’s most dangerous diplomat.” It’s because of meetings with Kislyak, for example, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. Despite meeting with him at least twice while serving as a Trump surrogate, Sessions testified during his confirmation hearing, “I did not have communications with the Russians.” He was never charged with perjury for this lie under oath, and his role in recommending FBI Director James Comey be fired is rather conspicuous given his recusal."