Cameras captured the moment that MSNBC journalist Andrea Mitchell was escorted out of a meeting between U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson and the Foreign Minister for Ukraine. Mitchell was yelling questions about Russia and Vladimir Putin Tuesday when she was hurried out.
As the two shook hands and cameras whirred away, Mitchell can be heard in a loud voice, asking, “Mr. Secretary, China has said there will be consequences for the deployment now of anti-missile defenses in South Korea, can you respond?”
Meanwhile, State Department handlers can be heard saying, “thank you” over and over to signal that no questions will be taken.
“Can you respond? Excuse me Mr. Secretary can you respond?” she continued.
Then Mitchell tried to address the Ukraine foreign minister, asking, “Mister Minister are you sure the Trump administration will be strong against Vladimir Putin?” but the diplomat seemed to ignore the inquiry.
Finally she’s ushered out while loudly asking, “Can you assure us that Russia will not be able to move any further into Ukraine?”
As they push Mitchell out, she protests, “We haven’t had any time in here.”
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) March 7, 2017
Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, later said that Secretary Tillerson assured him that the United States would continue to back Ukraine against Russia.
“[Tillerson] assured me that the United States would consistently continue to support Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression, that Ukraine is a key partner of the U.S. in the region, that the U.S. would also consistently support Ukraine on its path of reforms,” Klimkin told reporters.
The United States’ backing of Ukraine has come into doubt after President Trump’s continued statements of approval for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president has puzzled and angered critics by constantly diminishing Putin’s more totalitarian acts in Russia and elsewhere.
The issue of Russian relations is a sensitive one as Democrats and other critics of the administration push suspicions that there were nefarious connections and interactions between the erstwhile geo-political enemy of the U.S. and the Trump campaign.