Oval Office photos of Trump meeting with Lavrov released by Russians, not White House

This handout photo released by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows President Donald Trump meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Russian Foreign Ministry via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first photos of President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to be made public came from the Russian government, not the White House.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted a photo of Trump and Lavrov shaking hands in the Oval Office. The Russian Embassy followed on Twitter with a photo of Trump smiling as he shook hands with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador in Washington. Kislyak has been a key figure in investigations of alleged ties between Trump associates and the Russian government.

The White House barred the news media from Trump's meeting with Lavrov. The only photographers in the room were the official White House photographer and a photographer from Tass, a state-run news agency. Journalists typically cover portions of meetings between the president and heads of state or government. But it's not uncommon for meetings with lower-level officials to occur without press coverage.

Journalists were later allowed into the Oval Office and found Trump sitting alone with Henry Kissinger, who was national security adviser and secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

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