|RT | May 11, 2017|
In response to US media hysteria over Russian outlets obtaining photos of Donald Trump’s closed-door meeting with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, the White House says both a Russian and an American photojournalist were present.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with US President Donald Trump was widely anticipated by the media, and while it happened behind closed doors, it was the Russian Foreign Ministry that first publicized Lavrov’s visit to the Oval Office to the world.
#Lavrov - @realDonaldTrump meeting has just started | В Овальном кабинете началась встреча С.Лаврова с Д.Трампом#RussiaUSA#РоссияСШАpic.twitter.com/7raFrkWhiC— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) May 10, 2017
After the pictures taken by a TASS correspondent became public, American journalists were quick to look for conspiracy theories.
These photos of Trump-Russia meetings are courtesy solely of Russian MFA because no US press allowed in. pic.twitter.com/PI4cSPIqvG— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 10, 2017
State-run Russian "media" allowed to cover Trump meeting with Russian Foreign Minister. US media not so. Reality. #2017.— Adam B. Ellick (@aellick) May 10, 2017
Observation: The world is getting almost all of its news about the US president today from the Russian gov't and Russian state media.— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) May 10, 2017
Russia takes happy fun time pictures in White House & celebrates their victory in US election - US media not invited in their own country pic.twitter.com/cuYttK8xRS— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) May 10, 2017
“The Russians had it all out globally while the White House press corps was kept out,” Mitchell said. “It’s unprecedented.”
.@mitchellreports Russians release images of Oval Office mtg— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 10, 2017
White House does not -- and doesn't let US media in.@mitchellreports reports now. pic.twitter.com/GoD2VxbzZf
It appears Russian state media agency TASS was allowed into the Trump-Lavrov meeting for photos.— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) May 10, 2017
US media were not allowed inside.
Photos of Trump's meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak just hit the Getty wire and they're all credited to Russian news agency TASS pic.twitter.com/qE9lWB6KuS— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) May 10, 2017
To be clear: Russian media allowed in The White House. American media not. https://t.co/f4CqSQ2XjF— Emily Andras (@emtothea) May 10, 2017
The photos of the clandestine Lavrov-Trump-Kislyak meeting were taken by TASS photographer Alexander Shcherbak. The photos were then distributed by the Associated Press, which credits the Russian Foreign Ministry as the source, and then Getty Images, which credits TASS.
In light of WH press exclusion from this meeting, this feels like a not-to-subtle ribbing https://t.co/JKrvfO4Cml— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 10, 2017
US media was blocked from Trump/Lavrov Oval Office meeting. But you can see pictures on the Russian FM's Flickr... https://t.co/TqiJ8GGtsA— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) May 10, 2017
"On background, our official photographer and their official photographer were present, that's it," the White House said, according to a pool report, USA Today notes.
WH told pool why Tass had photos of Lavrov Trump & not US: "Our official photographer & their official photographer were present, that's it"— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) May 10, 2017
The Russian news agency “had to go through the same screening as a member of the US press going through the main gate to the [White House] briefing room,” the official told the Washington Post.
Another official also dismissed any speculation that Ambassador Kislyak was there to recruit Trump.
“It is standard practice for ambassadors to accompany their principals, and it is ridiculous to suggest there was anything improper,” the administration official told the Washington Post, adding that the White House rooms “are swept routinely” for listening devices.