President Trump meets with Russia’s top diplomat

On the day that two articles of impeachment were unveiled, the president had a White House meeting with Russia’s foreign minister.
5:23 | 12/10/19

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Transcript for President Trump meets with Russia’s top diplomat
Ukraine conspiracy. That has consumed at the for the president's attention also at the center of the impeachment inquiry and it implicates the FBI and the attorney general bill Barr. I'm ready seems to be someone who is. He is very conflicted over this that the president. It continues to refuse to embrace the findings of the intelligence community and want forced from community that this is a DuPont. Baseless conspiracy theory at this point. Well again he is the highest ranking official I think. That inning was had access to director ray to ask the basic question. Did Ukrainian government officials. Interfere. With the US election on the scale and in the way that the Russians he said quote there's no evidence. Very interest he meantime in a somewhat surreal twist you can stick around for just a second and also echoing back to between seventeen with a president fired. His last FBI director James Conley the president again today is meeting with top Russian officials. At the White House foreign mister minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia is in town. The Russians of course are big advocates for this Ukraine conspiracy theory that it was the ukrainians and not Dan. That medals in between sixteen elections a spring in our State Department reporter Connor Finnegan. Who has been tracking the Russian leader's visit Connor. Give us. Why this meeting is happening now and what did the Russians are hoping to accomplish today tape caught a lot of people by surprise today. If that's right DeVon Russia's top diplomat again meeting at the White House. With president trump which is sending all kinds of signals looking to the rest of the world about we are the president's stance on Russia and on Ukraine. In particular you'll called the last time that Sergey Lavrov with here in Washington he met with president from in the Oval Office. And he. President trump stifled highly classified information to Sergey Lavrov. That was shared with the US by Israel potentially endangering an Israeli spy in the process. Now Sergey Lavrov is coming directly from Paris where President Putin met with Ukraine's president president Vladimir is a Lewinsky. And it's the Russians who get to debrief the US first. On those talks before the ukrainians. It's really a slap at the Ukrainian government which has sought this kind of meeting this kind of Oval Office meeting with president trump. As prisons Lewinsky who tries to you know implement the reform agenda in Ukraine and instead. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Sergey Lavrov. We're sending notes today of optimism that they they thug to improve US Russian relations. The thing they think they can begin to do that. But it's that Russia's interference in the 2016 election that has hung over the US Russian relationship for the past three years now. And and secretary of state Mike Pompeo tried to make clear today that that from the administration is standing tough against Russia. Over that election interference take a listen to what he had to say. And then on the question of interference in our domestic affairs that was clear it's unacceptable. And I'm in our expectations of Russia clear. Trump administration will always worked to protect the integrity of our elections period. Should rusher Horry for an actor take steps to undermine our democratic processes we will take action in response. Now it's worth noting Devin that went Sergey Lavrov again denied Russia interfering in the US election. And called on the US to provide evidence of it. That might Pompeo pushed back on that only gently saying that the US had a ready provided enough. Evidence of Russia's interference and went Sergey Lavrov pointed today is this notion this debunked theory about Ukrainian interference. Instead incident that proves that Russian interference is really a hoax. Mike Pompeo did nothing to push back directly on that. That's a much concern of that's O'Connor thank you appear this hours serve reopens. At this wounded 2016 and some. It was somebody tweeted me where I'm put this provocative question to you. Just before the show are we witnessing Russian meddling in 20/20 before our eyes by the fact that he's in the Oval Office pushing the Ukraine conspirators. But haven't let me just play the role of journalists here. There's this little thing called the -- report. Was detailed fact after fact how the Russians. Infiltrated and tried to affect the 2016 election. The entire intelligence community of the United States has sets that put their name and their brands and their agencies behind that notion. So they're certain facts that are just facts so the foreign minister can come here and say that all he wants. Present in some facts. There's a 400 plays mullah report that deals with those facts. The other point that I would make is that director ray in our interview today. Was pretty blunt about rush. He confirmed yet again that Russia was extremely aggressive in 2016. He sent they're doing it now as we speak. And he said that in the biggest threat to tweet when he election campaign that the nation faces right now. An ominous warning as we head into tweets warning and that is our next topic pure Thomas thank you so much for all your reporting in this or was he on world news tonight thanks again economist and again the State Department.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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