Michael McFaul is concerned.
More than that, he feels intimidated — by Russia, whose president has considered him a “personal foe,” and by his own president, who may allow him to be interviewed by the Kremlin in connection with unspecified criminal allegations.
The former U.S. ambassador to Russia said as much in a tweet that came in response to President Donald Trump, on a day when he said “no” after a reporter asked whether Russia is still targeting the United States.
Coverage of Donald Trump and alleged election meddling on Globalnews.ca:
McFaul served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014.
Now a professor at Stanford University, he’s one of a number of people that Russia wants to interview as part of a probe into crimes whose nature isn’t clear.
Another is Bill Browder, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin.
In exchange, Putin told Trump he’s prepared to let the U.S. access Russian intelligence officials who have been accused of meddling in the 2016 election.
Trump and his team are weighing the offer, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
The president has called it an “incredible” offer.
When McFaul first took up the job as ambassador to Russia, Dmitry Medvedev was president, and he oversaw efforts to reset relations with the U.S.
That all changed when Putin became president again later that year, and the Kremlin “actively sought to discredit and undermine him,” according to McFaul’s book From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.
McFaul faced protests, he was slammed in Russian media and he, his family and his staff were under close surveillance, the book said.
McFaul drew an outpouring of support on Twitter Wednesday after it was announced that Trump was mulling the offer to let Russia interview him.
As for Trump’s “no” to question about Russian interference, the White House said he was refusing to take reporters’ questions — not denying Russian meddling.
“The president and his administration are working very hard to make sure that Russia is unable to meddle in our elections as they have done in the past.” Sanders said.