After the Russian embassy tweeted on Tuesday that the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service had been in the United States for “consultations” regarding the struggle against terrorism, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is demanding to know whether anyone in the Trump administration met with him.
Schumer told reporters, “The Trump administration must immediately come clean and answer questions: which U.S. officials did he meet with?”
Sergey #Lavrov answering the question about the “Kremlin list”: It took them 5 months to study directories with names of members of @GovernmentRF & employees of the Administration of @KremlinRussia_E. It could be done much faster pic.twitter.com/hSF5N0hrUp
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 30, 2018
The tweet that Sergey Naryshkin, the Russian foreign intelligence director in question, had been in the United States came just one day after the administration announced it would not implement sanctions against Russia, despite a law calling for them passed by the Senate in a 98-2 vote last year. The Trump administration announced the about-face on the actual deadline for implementation of sanctions.
Everything to do with Trump and Russia is suspicious. But the synchronicity of Naryshkin’s visit and Trump’s refusal to actuate sanctions is enough to make just about anyone curious. Chuck Schumer asked whether the decision and the visit are linked and accused Trump of ignoring the sanctions legislation.
“We sanctioned the head of their foreign intelligence, and then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door. This is an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump.”