On the very day articles of impeachment are released regarding his serving Russian interests over Ukraine, Trump's very weak White House is led on a chain by the Russian Foreign Minister. It's so pathetic. Maddow doesn't sugarcoat it.
In the first impeachment article against President Trump, the abuse of power that he's accused of trying, it's to, you know, undermine Joe Biden's chances of beating him in the 2020 election, but he's also accused of effectively exonerating Russia for having tried to help him win the 2016 election, right? As the impeachment articles note, "it is a discredited theory promoted by Russia that the real interference in the 2016 election wasn't Russia at all, it was Ukraine instead. U.S. Intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded and briefed the U.S. Senate on their conclusions that the Russian government, Russian security services have been promoting that lie about Ukraine as a disinformation effort that is designed to benefit the Kremlin."
So I know you know how all of those individual dots, right? But it's amazing to see them connect on a day like this. It's an amazing thing to have the president as of today officially being impeached for him trying to help the Kremlin in that way, while he is simultaneously meeting the guy from the Kremlin in the Oval Office. I mean, from the White House's perspective this is not great timing for having a meeting with a senior Russian government official, right? While he's being impeached for helping Russia. Why would we think it's the White House that made this decision and not the Russian government dictating these terms? It was only yesterday that the white house finally confirmed this meeting would take place. For days the Russian government and Russian state-run media have been saying that Lavrov was coming to Washington, he was going to be meeting with Trump. And the white house wouldn't say anything and wouldn't confirm anything, and finally yesterday they confirmed it. The rollout of the meeting was also super awkward and insulting to the united states. On terms that are favorable to the Kremlin and not to the U.S. The White House put out their official readout of this meeting today: "Today President Donald J. Trump met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia. President Trump warned against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections." Oh, really? Do you believe that President Trump in his meeting with the Russian foreign minister today sternly warned him against any Russian attempts to interfere in US elections? You think President Trump actually did that, actually issued that warning to Russia? Well, the foreign minister Mr. Lavrov was asked about that by reporters after his meeting with President Trump, and regardless of whatever was in that White House readout, Lavrov immediately shut that down.
Mr. Lavrov, Edward Long from "The New York Times." The White House just put out a statement about your meeting with President Trump saying that the president did warn about -- warn you not to interfere in US elections and also urged you to try and settle your conflict over the situation with Ukraine. I was just wondering if you did discuss these two items and if so can you tell us about the discussion?
Translator: Well, you know, we haven't even actually discussed elections. Regarding Ukraine, I briefed both the Secretary of State and President Trump about yesterday's summit in Paris.
MADDOW [Imitating Lavrov]: Oh, elections? Did Trump say he warned me that Russia shouldn't interfere in the elections? That is adorable he told you he said that. No, he did not say anything of the kind. What was the quote? "Well, you know, we haven't even actually discussed elections." We didn't even talk about that topic. That's cute, though, that's what he told you we talked about.