A shifty looking Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov feigned surprise at finding out that James Comey had just been fired by his US puppet at the White House in a move that has plunged US democracy into crisis.
Lavrov may have decided to risk an impromptu tete a tete with Donald Trump, although there is no pressing political reason for it, after finding Trump’s messages on encyrption devices illegible.
Understandably anxious to avoid questions about the sacking of the FBI director just as he was investigating Donald Trump’s links also to Lavrov himself, the suave looking Ruskie beat an elegant retreat back behind close doors where he will hold crisis talks with Donald Trump.
Over estimating his own acting ability, Lavrov made the mistake of pausing just before he vanished from sight. Standing stiffly, he tried to dissemble ignorance about James Comey’s firing even though it is the world’s number one headline for the past 12 hours. His display of shock on hearing his nemesis had been fired would make two year olds look like Marlon Brando.
“The US president did something typically associated with a non-democracy. He interfered with the course of justice. Not even Nixon fired the head of the FBI. Russia may not achieve a grand bargain with the US to create its own sphere of influence. Trump would find it hard to make any kind of geopolitical concession without provoking Republican hawks, such as McCain. But Russia has already won the prize it sought. American democracy is in a deepening crisis. When and where it will end is anybody’s guess,” wrote Edward Luce.
Watching Lavrov’s exaggeratedly, theatrical expression reminded me, in fact, of the somewhat fanciful nature of Russians, an idiosyncratic people who give their horses names like Kabardin Star, something which does not impress Irish people, and Comey is Irish too.
Meanwhile, Trump’s press officer Sean Spicer hid behind bushes near the White House as reporters clamoured to question him over James Comey’s sacking, reports the Washington Post.
“After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?”
Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him. For 10 minutes, he responded to a flurry of questions, vacillating between light-hearted asides and clear frustration with getting the same questions over and over again.
The White House press secretary was much in demand on Tuesday night and, after giving a TV interview on an outside set, retreated to the safety of a nearby hedge, according to the Washington Post.
After several minutes conferring with aides Mr Spicer emerged ready to provide answers, as long as they were not filmed, the Post said.