How Russia Trolled the White House During the Trump-Lavrov Meeting

Public Domain image via White House. https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/34597652845/in/dateposted/

The White House learned a valuable lesson Wednesday when President Trump met with Soviet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“They tricked us,” and, “That’s the problem with the Russians — they lie.”

Well, slap my ass and call me Sally, I am totally shocked that the Russians would do either of those things.

The set up for this, of course, was the Oval Office meeting that was closed to the press of both nations. Only the official photographer for Russia and the White House were allowed to document the event.

But while the US press was howling about being excluded from a meeting that was closed to the press, an amazing thing happened.

Suddenly the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs started sending the official photos taken by its photographer out on Twitter. This led to some news organizations, like the New York Times, using the photos crediting them to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

trump-lavrov

It wasn’t until the next day that the White House got around to releasing the photos.

This is one of those incidents that is difficult to understand. Russian duplicity aside, the administration should have made releasing the photos a high priority simply because of the news cycle. At least then the mewling about being excluded would be seen for what it was rather than giving the impression the White House was trying to pretend the meeting never happened. When the Russians did release their photos, the decision to wait a day before matching that release simply beggars the imagination.