(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Russia's foreign minister sarcastically acknowledged the abrupt dismissal of FBI director James Comey by saying 'Was he fired? You're kidding. You're kidding' as he posed on Wednesday for photographs with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
President Donald Trump stunned Washington on Tuesday with his decision to fire Comey, whose agency is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and the possibility Trump associates may have colluded with Moscow.
The move provoked a storm of criticism among Democrats who said Trump was trying to blunt the FBI probe, and some of the president's fellow Republicans also questioned the timing of the ouster. White House officials denied any political motive in the move by Trump, who took office on Jan. 20.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Tillerson at the State Department before he was to head to the White House for talks with Trump.
Asked by a reporter if Comey's dismissal would cast a shadow over his talks with Tillerson, Lavrov acknowledged the elephant in the room by replying in a sarcastic tone: "Was he fired? You're kidding. You're kidding."
Tillerson made no reference to Comey as he and Lavrov shook hands and posed for photographs.