Donald Trump just fired FBI Director James Comey in a rather transparent attempt at staving off the growing investigation into his own Russia scandal. But in a move which creates even worse optics in the Trump-Russia scandal, a U.S. official just announced that Trump has set up a White House meeting with a top Russian Diplomat.
Trump is is now supposed to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press and New York Times (link), in a stunning development which will end up looking to many observers as if Trump set up the meeting with Russia so they can plot what to do next now that Comey is out of the way. Notably, Lavrov is accused by Christopher Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier of being one of the key figures in the plot to rig the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.
To be clear, Lavrov was already set to be at the White House on Wednesday to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But Trump’s sudden last minute decision to set up his own meeting with Lavrov, which was not on the schedule, suggests that the change is related to James Comey’s firing.
Perhaps the most surreal aspect of this development is that Donald Trump doesn’t appear to understand how bad the optics are on this. If he fired Comey to try to make his Russia scandal go away, why is his first subsequent move to set up a White House meeting between himself and the Russian government? Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report