White House

Russian photographer's visit to Oval Office raises security concerns

President Donald Trump (C) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) meet at the Oval Office of White House in Washington, D.C., on May 10, 2017.
Alexander Shcherbak | TASS | Getty Images

The press was barred, but a Russian photographer was allowed inside the Oval Office for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raising concerns by some security experts.

The White House defended its security, but other former intelligence officials said the level of screening granted for a visitor may not have been sufficient enough to detect espionage devices, The Washington Post reports.

The Russian "had to go through the same screening as a member of the U.S. press going through the main gate to the [White House] briefing room," a senior administration official told the Post.

According to the newspaper, the administration official said the White House had been told the Russian was Lavrov's official photographer but was not informed that he also worked for the Russian news agency Tass.

CNBC has reached out to the White House for comment.

The Post noted that among the critics are former deputy CIA director David S. Cohen, who condemned the decision on Twitter.

@cohendavid: No, it was not.

Russia also has a history of sneaking surveillance devices into U.S. facilities.

Wednesday's meeting coincidentally came a day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Read the full report from The Washington Post here.