The same day House leadership announced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the President welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Trump has repeatedly minimized or outright denied Russia's concentrated efforts to manipulate the American presidential election, instead focusing on conspiracy theories that the Democratic National Convention worked with Ukraine to frame Russia for election interference.
In a Fox Business interview on Tuesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said that the President and Lavrov would discuss election security.
Hogan Gidley says Trump and Lavrov will talk about "election security" 👀 https://t.co/zDVUx8AbR7— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1575995720.0
Gidley stressed that conversations with foreign rivals are necessary and—though the meeting with Lavrov would focus primarily on gun control—the pair would also discuss national security and election security.
People weren't exactly heartened that the man who invited Russia to hack his opponent's emails would be discussing election security with the representative of a government who recently attacked the United States.
What next? A stimulating conversation with Mohammad bin Salman on ensuring the safety of journalists? https://t.co/Yn5JH79LBz— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle)1576003866.0
Is this is a joke? https://t.co/SOMc2egxXO— S.V. Dáte (@S.V. Dáte)1575998526.0
I give up. Don’t know why there isn’t a march on the WH right now...w/Lavrov inside telling the media Mueller was w… https://t.co/1q1bRJDXCc— Dawn (@Dawn)1576009982.0
Who amongst us hasn’t talked to Russia about election interference from Russians? https://t.co/SB7SJ8MCZb— 🤙🏼 (@🤙🏼)1576014582.0
Anyone else remember when Trump said he would create a “Cyber Security Unit” with Vladimir Putin, shortly after he… https://t.co/ipJTsektnE— Brian Klaas (@Brian Klaas)1575995926.0
Remember when Don Jr had the "if it's what you say I love it" meeting and Trump said it was about "adoptions"? Ado… https://t.co/R41obrqVy6— Michael #GoodTrouble Harris (@Michael #GoodTrouble Harris)1576001378.0
Consistent with Russia's past claims, Lavrov asserted that the Kremlin played no role in meddling with the U.S. election.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "We have highlighted once again that all speculation about our alleged inte… https://t.co/8ttvshs9yj— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1576003525.0
U.S. Intelligence officials are unanimous that Russia was behind the meddling.