After Ditching Press Pool, Rex Tillerson Huddles With Vladimir Putin

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, not shown, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, Saturday, March 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

Russia is still stewing over last week’s tomahawk strike against the Shayrat Air Base, in Syria.

They were so upset, that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would not meet with the former recipient of Russia’s Order of Friendship, Rex Tillerson, when he visited Moscow.

He changed his mind, it seems, and he and Secretary of State Tillerson met today, but Tillerson chose to ditch the press pool to make it happen.

Tillerson and Putin met for two hours. Afterwards, Tillerson sat for a press conference.

 “I expressed the view the current state of U.S.-Russia relations is at a low point,” said Tillerson, who spoke alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “There is a low level of trust between our two countries.”

Both sides agree that there should be an investigation into whether Syria actually had gas. Some, including those in Russia, have suggested that Syrian rebels are the actual culprits behind releasing the gas.

Even amid their fierce disagreement over Syria, both diplomats said they would cooperate in an international investigation into the gas attack.

“We want there to be a frank investigation,” Lavrov said.

They want a “frank investigation,” but as Lavrov said further, getting rid of Bashar al-Assad is not something they’re concerned with.

Still, Tillerson and Lavrov report some progress made.

He also stressed the Trump administration’s belief that Assad’s rule “is coming to an end.”

“The characterization is one Assad has brought upon himself,” Tillerson told a reporter who asked about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s incorrect statement that even the Nazis hadn’t used chemical weapons on their own people.

And the lines of communication have been opened back up, as part of the agreement reached today, so at least they want be smashing into each other, should further action against Syria be warranted.