The Russian Photographer Who Was In The Oval Office Has A Message For The US Press

Alexandr Scherbak, a photographer with Russian state-run news agency TASS, scolded his US counterparts for "delusional accusations" in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Among the many concerns raised after Wednesday's meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was just who captured the moment on film.

Those photos were then distributed to the Associated Press as being courtesy of the "Russian Foreign Ministry," which upset even more people.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted one of the shots on Facebook, captioning it as "epic" and tagging the photographer: Alexandr Scherbak.

"Epic photo," says Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman.

“Apparently the TASS person was admitted at the request of the Russian Foreign Ministry as the official photographer for the Russian side,” TASS Washington bureau chief, Andrei Sitov, told Talking Points Memo after earlier saying there was no photographer from his bureau present for the meeting. “He is permanently assigned to cover FM Lavrov. His pictures from the meeting are available at the Russian FM’s Flickr. I was not even aware of this.”

Sherbak's presence in the Oval Office didn't just raise red flags about press access. Some asked whether the photographer went through proper security checks.

David Cohen, a former deputy CIA director, said on Twitter that it "was not" a good idea to let a Russian government photographer into the Oval.

Scherbak, a photographer with Russian state-owned media outlet TASS, took to Facebook on Thursday to defend himself in a post addressed "to the American media."

Facebook: ascherbak

"I must admit, for me this is nonsense," Scherbak wrote in Russian. "I'm a private person and I have never commented on my work before, but this hysteria regarding my shooting at the White House made me write these lines personally."

In the post, Sherbak describes the process he went through to get into the White House after Lavrov's meeting at the State Department earlier that day.

Sherbak ended his post with an appeal to "American journalists not to lose their sense of professional dignity."

Cybersecurity experts who spoke to BuzzFeed News said they saw "no obvious threat" made by Sherbak's foray into the Oval Office.

Skip to footer