Russia’s Foreign Minister Just Mocked a Reporter’s Question About James Comey’s Firing

You can’t make this stuff up.


It’s another case of “you can’t make this stuff up”: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is visiting Washington Wednesday morning for top-level meetings, the day after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey amid an ongoing investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.

Lavrov, described in one Foreign Policy profile as “hard-drinking, hard-charging” and a “relentless and smart negotiator,” appeared to enjoy his appearance in front of American cameras when he scoffed at a reporter’s question about Comey’s firing.

“Does the Comey firing cast a shadow on your talks, gentleman?” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked at a press conference, where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was welcoming Russia’s top diplomat—and longest serving post-Cold War foreign minister—to Washington.

“Was he fired?” Lavrov responded in a mocking tone. “You are kidding. You are kidding,” he said, before theatrically shrugging and retreating from the press corps with Tillerson, ignoring further questions.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Lavrov later today—one day after he removed Comey from his FBI post. The former director had been leading an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible ties between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

Update, 11:17 am: They’ve met!

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.