‘Was he fired? You’re kidding!’ Lavrov feigns surprise at Comey’s dismissal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pretended to be deeply surprised by news of FBI Director James Comey’s dismissal, asking journalists if he was fired, before a meeting with his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, in Washington.
Journalists gathered at the White House bombarded Lavrov and Tillerson with questions as they posed for photos before going to a separate room for a meeting.
One of the questions was whether the recently announced firing of FBI Director James Comey would mar negotiations between the two diplomats.
Lavrov appeared surprised at the news, asking the journalists: “Was he fired? You’re kidding! You’re kidding!”
Lavrov and Tillerson then went into another room, apparently leaving the reporters and photographers quite perplexed.
Tillerson, however, did not comment on the question.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Comey, whose agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and Trump’s links to Russia, was announced on Tuesday.
The move was met with harsh criticism from many Democrats who say Trump is trying to derail an investigation that poses a threat to his presidency. White House officials dismissed the allegations, insisting that the decision was not politically motivated.
On Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to respond to his critics, tweeting that Democrats said “the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!”
Trump also said that Comey will be soon replaced by a person “who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.”
“Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!” the president concluded.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Comey’s firing should not affect relations between Russia and the US.
“We hope that this will not influence [our relations], this is a fully internal affair of the US, a sovereign decision made by the US president, which has and must have nothing to do with the Russian Federation,” Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.