The top spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry said in a radio interview Wednesday that the mainstream media’s coverage of President Donald Trump’s Oval Office meeting with top Russian diplomats earlier this month was filled with “bigotry” and “obscurantism.”
“Real medieval bigotry, a witch hunt, burning on fire,” that spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in the interview, which was promoted by the Russian Embassy on Twitter. “Total nonsense.”
As it was later reported, Trump revealed highly classified information about an ISIS plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during that Oval Office meeting. The source of the intelligence, which was later reported to be Israel, had not given the US permission to share it. Trump tweeted the day after the news broke last week that he “wanted to share with Russia … facts pertaining to terrorism and airline safety.”
“Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” Trump said in the tweet.
Late last week, The New York Times reported that Trump told Lavrov and Kislyak in that meeting that his firing of FBI Director James Comey, whom he called a “nut job,” had taken “great pressure” off him. Comey was overseeing the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.
The meeting, which took place the day after Trump ousted Comey, initially came under fire when the only media allowed inside was a Russian state photographer. Kislyak’s presence in the meeting wasn’t known until that photographer posted his shots from the event, sparking a controversy over the secrecy of the diplomatic discussion. Kislyak’s participation was not noted in the White House readout of the meeting.
“Lavrov-Trump meeting was an absolutely standard fare, protocol-type first meeting aimed at outlining points of the agenda, to find where our positions differ and where we may cooperate,” Zakharova said. “Concerning the coverage in mass media, it was bigotry, obscurantism.”