And when Sally Yates, then serving as acting attorney general, told the White House that Flynn had lied when he denied discussing USA sanctions with Kislyak, and thus could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, Trump waited 18 days to fire him.

It certainly wouldn't be the first time Russians had planted listening devices in USA government buildings. On Wednesday, they focused on areas of budding agreement. The White House has yet to confirm.

In terms of the content of the meeting itself, the White House released an official statement claiming that the officials discussed ongoing conflict in Syria, Ukraine, and the Middle East at large. Under former US President Barack Obama, a Kremlin spokesman said "nearly all levels of dialogue had been frozen".

Lavrov said that no evidence exists linking Russia to hacked Democratic Party emails released during last year's election campaign and that the issue of Russian interference in the campaign did not arise in his meeting with Trump that morning.

The order seeks to improve the network security of US government agencies, from which hackers have pilfered millions of personal records and other forms of sensitive data in recent years. None was apparently reached Wednesday.

Donald Trump has surrounded himself with sycophants and amateurs who are either unwilling or unable to tell him no.

Tillerson should have told Lavrov "we're pursuing an investigation and when the investigation is completed there will be consequences for what you did", Bolton said.

Wednesday's meeting coincidentally came a day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the USA election.

". The war in Syria, in particular a Russian plan to create 'safe zones, ' was discussed, Mr. Lavrov said". Sanders said she thought Rosenstein, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, was "a flawless example of what you would be looking for in terms of an independent person to come in and helm this investigation".

At seemingly every turn, Trump has compromised investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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"I never thought I would have to answer such questions, particularly in the U.S., given your highly-developed democratic system", he said.

There was nothing unusual about the photoshoot with Trump and Lavrov.

Hey, if you can't trust the Kremlin, who can you trust? Ambassadors often accompany visiting dignitaries to the White House.

The images - issued by the Russian state news agency TASS, and subsequently published by much of the global media - showed a grinning Trump shaking hands with Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador in Washington, Sergei Kislyak, during an Oval Office meeting.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and TASS published photos from the meeting later in the day, while the United States side released no official photos, which triggered hysteria in the USA media.

The Associated Press and other agencies distributed the photos, labeling them as handouts from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Lavrov meeting came just hours after Trump fired his Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, the man responsible for investigating allegations of collusion between the Republican leader's team and Russian Federation.

Trump named Michael Flynn - a controversial figure, partly because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin - as his national security adviser. The objective of the trip is to demonstrate how his "America first" vision isn't inconsistent with the US ideals of democracy and freedom that allies have come to depend on.

In the House of Representatives, Justin Amash, a Republican member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Twitter that he had signed onto Democratic-sponsored legislation calling for an independent, bipartisan commission to probe Russian meddling in last year's USA election campaign.

Trump, in his interview, also gave further details of his account that Comey had told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation in the Russian Federation matter.