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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Russian Foreign Ministry / AP

As details from the Trump-Lavrov meeting continue to emerge, the bizarre circumstances that led to their encounter are becoming clearer, too.

Putin left out Lavrov's whereabouts when asking Trump to meet with him.

  • When Trump agreed to meet with Lavrov, it was reportedly after Putin asked him to so they could discuss Syria.
  • But that's not all: Putin said Lavrov was already scheduled to meet with Rex Tillerson, so it'd be easy for him to pop over to the Oval Office.
  • Putin did not mention that Lavrov and Tillerson were scheduled to meet in Alaska, not D.C.

A Russian photographer was mistakenly welcomed into the meeting.

  • The White House was not told that the photographer with Lavrov was a photojournalist and not an official state photographer.
  • While Trump did not allow American journalists into the meeting, he unknowingly brought in a Russian cameraman.

Welcoming Lavrov into the Oval Office is symbolic of a shifting relationship with Russia.

  • Russia allegedly had been asking the Obama administration for a Lavrov meeting for years.
  • But such a meeting would incorrectly imply that the Russia-U.S. relationship was back to an amicable place.

Why it matters: The misleading circumstances that led to the Trump-Lavrov meeting (and the meeting itself) has sparked concerns about Trump's abilities to handle classified intelligence and to manage our relationship with Israel.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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