Alliances

Trump meets Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov amid Comey firestorm

Adam Shaw

President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Wednesday, amid a firestorm on Capitol Hill over Trump’s Tuesday firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Trump told reporters that the two had a "very very good meeting" and talked about the crisis in Syria.

"[W]e want to see the killing, the horrible killing, in Syria stop as soon as possible and everybody is working toward that end," Trump said, ahead of a separate meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Lavrov first met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, before traveling to the White House and meeting with Trump. The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted out a picture of the pair, as well as a picture of Trump with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired in February after it was revealed he misled Vice President Pence about his discussions with Kislyak.

Lavrov’s visit risked being overshadowed by the firing of Comey. As Lavrov met with Tillerson, Democrats continued to express their outrage at the ouster, raising questions as to whether it was connected to the FBI’s current investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 race and Trump campaign officials' alleged ties to Russia.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., renewed his calls for a special prosecutor to take over the investigation.

“We need to get a bottom of this and get a handle on all the facts,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. 

The Trump administration and GOP lawmakers say Comey was fired for other reasons, including his handling of the Clinton email probe. 

Tillerson and Lavrov were asked about the Comey firing by reporters at the State Department during the photo opportunity. Tillerson did not respond, but Lavrov chose to engage.

"Was he fired? You are kidding!" he joked.

Lavrov held his own press conference after the meeting and told reporters of his hopes for good relations with the Trump administration.

He praised Trump for trying to build a "business relationship" with Russia, and dismissed claims that Russia was controlling the U.S. as "ridiculous."

"It’s ridiculous ... to think a great country like the United States is being controlled by someone else," he said.

Lavrov said that much of the meeting was spent on the Syria crisis, and that he was hopeful that Russia and America can work to "turn the tide and improve the situation."

The meetings followed a period during which U.S.-Russian relations have deteriorated. While Trump had expressed hopes for a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail and in the early days of his presidency, Trump said in April that relations with Russia “may be at an all-time low” -- a sentiment later also expressed by Tillerson.

Relations soured between the two countries when Trump ordered airstrikes on a Syrian airfield in response to a chemical attack in northern Syria by Russian ally and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian government condemned the attack.

Fox News' Rich Edson contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.