"Now, look, this meeting was deeply problematic on so many levels: the White House locked out U.S. press while allowing a Russian news agency in; it posed a total security risk by agents of the very government that just hacked our democracy; and the White House readout of the Lavrov meeting didn’t even include the fact that Kislyak was there (i.e. without Russian media photos, U.S. press wouldn’t have even known the meddling ambassador was in attendance.) But consider something else, part of the reason that meeting ever took place is because Trump doesn’t, in fact, have a functional State Department to put the kibosh on such an ill-advised meeting (seriously, every foreign leader around the world now thinks/knows that Trump is Putin’s puppet). Remember, Trump and Tillerson—who likely has more Russian contacts than any other Trump Cabinet member—have drained the State Department dry of institutional knowledge. There’s been not one, but two major purges at State, resulting in a major brain drain there."