Oh, are they Russian?

Yesterday the traitorous lying thief in the White House held a meeting with his Russian buddies and kept the press out. He kept the press out. He really does think he’s a dictator and can do any damn thing he wants to, and that we are his peons.

When President Trump met with top Russian officials in the Oval Office on Wednesday, White House officials barred reporters from witnessing the moment. They apparently preferred to block coverage of the awkwardly timed visit as questions swirled about whether the president had dismissed his F.B.I. director in part to squelch the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Moscow.

They prefer lots of things that are in their interest but not ours; they shouldn’t be allowed to put their preferences into action.

But the Russians, who have a largely state-run media, brought their own press contingent in the form of an official photographer. They quickly filled the vacuum with their own pictures of the meeting with Mr. Trump, Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to the United States.

The Russian press? More than welcome. Ours? Get out.

Within minutes of the meeting, the Foreign Ministry had posted photographs on Twitter of Mr. Trump and Mr. Lavrov smiling and shaking hands. The Russian embassy posted images of the president grinning and gripping hands with the ambassador. Tass, Russia’s official news agency, released more photographs of the three men laughing together in the Oval Office.

The White House released nothing.

I for one welcome our new Russian overlords.

Mr. Trump’s session with Mr. Lavrov was listed on his schedule as “Closed Press,” meaning the news media would not have a chance to photograph or otherwise document the meeting. “Our official photographer and their official photographer were present — that’s it,” a White House aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity, lacking authorization to describe the ground rules.

The difference, of course, is that while official White House photographers have broad access to the president, their presence is not considered a substitute for that of independent news media, which routinely request and secure access to official presidential movements and meetings so they can obtain their own images and produce their own reports. In Russia, where the independent news media are severely limited, there is no such regular press access to government officials apart from state-controlled organizations.

Trump wants to do things the way the Russians do.

Former White House officials were left to wonder about the security implications of having allowed a Russian photographer unfettered access to the American president’s office.

Colin H. Kahl, the former national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., took to Twitter to pose what he called a “deadly serious” question: “Was it a good idea to let a Russian gov photographer & all their equipment into the Oval Office?”

David S. Cohen, the former deputy director of the C.I.A. during the Obama administration, responded: “No, it was not.”

The Post explores that question further.

A photographer for a Russian state-owned news agency was allowed into the Oval Office on Wednesday during President Trump’s meeting with Russian diplomats, a level of access that was criticized by former U.S. intelligence officials as a potential security breach.

The officials cited the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics.

The White House says don’t worry, somebody patted them down first.

The White House played down the danger, saying that the photographer and his equipment were subjected to a security screening before he and it entered the White House grounds. The Russian “had to go through the same screening as a member of the U.S. press going through the main gate to the [White House] briefing room,” a senior administration official said.

But the Russian press isn’t exactly the same as the US press, is it. Here’s why: Russia is a hostile foreign power. It doesn’t love us. It really really doesn’t. It doesn’t love Trump either, it’s using him. The media present was state-owned, not independent.

The administration official also said the White House had been misled about the role of the Russian photographer. Russian officials had described the individual as Lavrov’s official photographer without disclosing that he also worked for Tass.

“We were not informed by the Russians that their official photographer was dual-hatted and would be releasing the photographs on the state news agency,” the administration official said.

Oh god. How can they be that stupid? “We were not informed by the Russians” – of course you weren’t! “We will be bringing state media personnel to take pictures and plant listening devices” – you were expecting them to say that?

White House officials said they were surprised to see photos posted online showing Trump not only with Lavrov but also smiling and shaking hands with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

That was supposed to be their little secret, god damn it.

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