Dina Powell has stepped up to the plate to defend the president and his recent dealings with Russia. The Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy clearly didn't believe a story the Washington Post recently published, claiming that sensitive discussions took place between President Donald Trump and the Russian Foreign Minister. She refuted the report in the strongest of terms, continuing a spiraling story for the administration.

Powell denies, denies, denies

Powell said, in no uncertain terms, that the Washington Post story was a lie, calling it "false." She was in the meeting, so she certainly has the authority to speak on the manner.

She claimed that the president and the Russian representative only discussed threats that were of mutual interest to both the United States and Russia -- nothing more sensitive or damning than that.

Corroborating Powell's opinion on the Washington Post article was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He also stated that the threats discussed were mutual, relating to counter-terrorism. He did state that "specific threats" were discussed during the meeting, but nothing about where the threats were coming from, methods for dealing with the threats, or anything about any potential military action that could be coming down the pipeline.

The Washington Post also had to deal with national security adviser H.R.

McMaster, who was also present at the meeting. He got even more in-depth with details, stating that the threats had to do with aviation. Beyond that, his statement read a lot like Tillerson's and Powell's, though he also added that anything sensitive that was discussed was already public knowledge.

Terrible optics from The White House

Even if the Washington Post story is erroneous -- and Powell would have you believe it is -- the White House likely still erred in hosting the meeting with the Russian foreign minister in the first place. The meeting took place in the immediate aftermath of Trump's firing of James Comey as FBI director, which many have suggested may have been retribution for the investigation into Russia's ties to the presidential election and the Trump campaign.

Having a meeting with a Russian official immediately afterwards makes it seem like Trump is in bed with the Russians, a fact that will either be proven true or false if the investigation is ever completed -- an open question at the moment.

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