Former US Ambassador Michael McFaul: I’m ‘Flabbergasted’ WH Would Not Defend Me Against Putin
The Trump administration’s ambiguity over whether they would hand over former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul for Russian questioning has the U.S. diplomatic community up in arms and has left the seasoned diplomat in question “flabbergasted” over Trump’s seeming unwillingness to defend him against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, McFaul explained that Putin had been trying to get at him for a long time.
“Vladimir Putin has been after me for a long time, even when I was ambassador, harassing me in ways no other U.S. Ambassador there has ever experienced,” he said. “He’s done some outrageous things around the world but even to our diplomats and even to me personally.”
Then, referring to the fact Trump seemed willing to turn a U.S. citizen and diplomat over to Russia for questioning, he added: “What I was totally flabbergasted by was the White House would not defend me. I’m an American citizen. I worked for the government for five years. It would have been so easy to bat it back.”
He also stressed the whole thing was just plain outrageous and a dangerous precedent.
“It’s outrageous. You can’t establish this precedent. You can’t put people like me — let’s be clear, they don’t just want to question me about this crazy scheme that Mr. [Bill] Browder laundered money and gave $400,000 of it to the Clinton campaign…In Helsinki, they said $400 million but corrected the record, they are insinuating I and these other Americans were part of the conspiracy, whether we’re criminals and why they want to question us. And you just have to push back on crazy stuff like that. It’s in not just the interests of people like me and others, it’s in the American national interests. You can’t in any way dignify such and outrageous claim of tit for tat, moral equivalency, which for some reason our president continues to do when it comes to Vladimir Putin.”
McFaul’s predicament brought strong words from the diplomatic community on Wednesday, including one current diplomat who said Trump has been spending the week “kissing Putin’s ass.”
“The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government’s. That’s very clear over the past week and a half, between shitting on our NATO allies and kissing Putin’s ass,” the diplomat told The Daily Beast. “He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it.”
A final decision on handing over McFaul has not been made. McFaul, ever the diplomat, said he hopes it gets settled soon.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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