Я уже говорю по-русски

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, second left, at the White House on May 10, 2017. Fourth from right is Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. Russian Foreign Ministry Photo / AP

This is rich. As the caption says, the photo shows newly-elected President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in the White House in the nations capitol along with known Russian agents. I feel free to use this photo, because it comes from an agency of a foreign government and was placed for public consumption by that government’s propaganda machine. Thanks for the photo.

The reason no photo is available from non-governmental sources is that President Trump did not allow American or other journalists/photographers in on the meeting—only Russian government news people were allowed. Before proceeding, allow it to soak in that there are governments in this world that have their own news service. Think of Pravda and Izvestia of the former Soviet Union. Full disclosure: I once had a subscription to Pravda.

That having settled in, the outcome has been predictable. Predictable to all, save those at the highest levels of the United States government:

The White House was facing criticism Thursday for a possible security breach after it allowed a Russian news service photographer into the Oval Office to snap photos of President Donald Trump and a pair of top Russian officials.

While the White House downplayed the threat, a senior administration official acknowledged to the Associated Press that the White House had been misled about the role of the Russian photographer, who was actually employed by a state-run news agency. The official requested anonymity to discuss matters of security.

The photographer — who on Wednesday stood feet from Trump as he talked with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — had told the White House that he was Lavrov’s official photographer, the administration official said.

But he did not say that he also works for Tass, a Russian state-run news agency.

Tass photographer Alexandr Scherbak claimed on Facebook Thursday that he covered the meeting as part of the Russian Foreign Ministry press pool.

White House officials were apparently surprised when photos depicting an apparently jovial moment between Trump and the two Russian officials appeared online a short time after Wednesday’s meeting, according to the official. There had been no plans to immediately broadcast images from the meeting, the official said.

If by now you are thinking President Trump was royally played by the Russians, then we are thinking along the same lines. No items in yesterday’s news reflected a positive light on this chain of events. Is this fallout from The Golden Shower?

Lots of people are concerned. Some are worried. Where is this leading us. As for me, I’m taking it in stride. Потому что я уже говорю по-русски. As the title says, because I already speak Russian.

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