Donald Trump meets Russian Federation foreign minister amid James Comey controversy

Photos after the jump.

President Donald Trump has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov against the backdrop of a developing drama over the countries alleged involvement in the US Presidential election, and potential ties to Mr Trump's team.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday held talks in Washington with President Donald Trump and his American counterpart Rex Tillerson on a host of issues, amid a raging political storm over the abrupt sacking of the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief who was probing Russia's meddling in the U.S. polls.

Both sides sought to praise the meeting, which is the highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian official since Mr Trump took.

President Donald Trump had but one meeting on his official schedule for Wednesday, the day after he fired FBI chief James Comey, the man overseeing the investigation into his campaign's potential ties to Russian Federation.

The White House says President Donald Trump will meet Wednesday with Vladimir Putin's top diplomat, marking the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russian Federation of the American leader's young presidency.

USA photographers were apparently prevented from attending the meeting in the Oval Office.

The president also said the issue had not affected his meeting with Lavrov.

The State Department says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) are affirming their support for United Nations -led talks to resolve the Syrian crisis. The first face-to-face talks of the Russian and U.S. presidents must be well prepared in order to yield concrete results, Lavrov said ahead of his visit to Washington.

Lavrov did speak during brief photo op with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday morning.

Hours after his meeting with Trump, Lavrov insisted that no evidence exists that Russian attempted to influence last year's election or hack the Democratic Party's email system.

Trump didn't mention Kislyak, and neither did the White House statement.

"Was he fired?" Lavrov quipped in response to Mitchell's second attempt, arching his eyebrows.

While the administration downplayed the threat, a senior administration official acknowledged that the White House had been misled about the role of the Russian photographer, who was actually employed by a state-run news agency.

Asked if the firing would cast a shadow over his talks, Lavrov replied: "Was he fired?"

The situation in Syria was among the topics discussed at the meeting, which is part of Lavrov's three-day trip to the US. That's the United States' internal affair.

"Was he fired? You're kidding!"

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