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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

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

5 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.

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