The incident is especially sensitive given that Lavrov has been described by US intelligence as “Russia’s top spy recruiter”.
White House officials had barred news media from the event so they were rather surprised when pictures emerged credited to Tass, a state-run news agency.
The only photographers in the room were the official White House snapper and another who had been described as Lavrov’s official photographer.
It was not disclosed that he worked for Tass.
An official told The Washington Post: “We were not informed by the Russians that their official photographer was dual-hatted and would be releasing the photographs on the state news agency.”
Former Deputy Director of the FBI, David Cohen, had a short answer to the question: “Was this a good idea?”
Journalists typically cover portions of meetings between the president and heads of state or government. But it’s not uncommon for meetings with lower-level officials to go ahead without press.
Journalists were later allowed into the Oval Office and found Trump sitting alone with Henry Kissinger where they posed for a photo op, reports the Associated Press.
This came less than 24 hours after Trump’s bombshell firing of FBI Director, James Comey.
Trump was branded “Nixonian”, in reference to the former president who fired a special prosecutor just before he was brought down by the Watergate scandal.
What did Henry Kissinger do again? Oh, he was National Security Adviser and Secretary of State.