The meeting occurred a day after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was heading a counterintelligence investigation into possible ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation. However, Trump and the White House blame unbalanced media coverage, the previous Obama administration and partisan politics for the problems his presidency has faced.
The White House is "not going to be able to run away from the rest of us - foreign policy experts, senators, national security experts - who want to know about what Russian Federation did by violating our sovereignty past year", he said.
"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", the official claimed. The Post reports that he was introduced to the White House as the official photographer.
Earlier, as Tillerson and Lavrov posed for photographs, the Russian sarcastically deflected a reporter's question about Comey's dismissal.
In addition to posting the Lavrov-Trump picture, the foreign ministry also posted video of Lavrov joking about Comey's firing.
The Kremlin is cautiously optimistic about the development of Russia-US ties after talks between US President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The White House official insisted it is standard practice to keep more of a lid on presidential meetings with lower-level foreign officials, as opposed to visits from heads of state, which typically come with greater press coverage.
The encounter was rendered especially significant because Trump's sacking of FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday has focused attention on the bureau's ongoing investigation into alleged ties between Russian Federation and some of Trump's associates.
"It is ridiculous to say that an ambassador can't meet with the president", the official said. "It's standard practice", the official said.
Trump described his talks with Lavrov as "very, very good". If confirmed, it would be the first meeting between the two men since Trump assumed power in January.
The official also rejected security concerns about allowing Russian officials into the Oval Office, including Kislyak, who is widely considered to be a spy by U.S. intelligence officials.