Michael McFaul on Russia

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Last quote by Michael McFaul on Russia

Cutting our staff by 755 people will do tremendous damage to our diplomatic mission in Russia. That the president does not appreciate this obvious fact suggests that he does not understand what embassies do in the pursuit of American interests.feedback
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Aug 11 2017
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All quotes by Michael McFaul on Russia

I worked on a campaign in 2007 and 2008 and I was the Russia adviser to President Obama and we vetted these kinds of meetings very closely, precisely to avoid even the appearance of something like this. That was my experience, that was my job. I'm not sure who did this for the Trump campaign, but that was my job.feedback

Putin has been the major source of problems in the U.S.-Russia relationship, not Washington.feedback

He comes with an agenda. He also does his psychological homework He will raise things about people's backgrounds and things they've done 15 years ago. I have seen that before. Here he is trying to build a relationship with Trump. He still believes at the end of the day he can pull Trump towards his agenda and wants to do it.feedback

[Trump] should know and we should understand: Putin is coming with an agenda. Putin is going to be prepared. If you are going to freelance it, doesn't mean he's going to. He is a very effective interlocutor.feedback

He blamed the 'deep state' for thwarting efforts to cooperate. He went through a series vignettes over eight years with Bush: 'We did this, got close on this, yet it was your side that screwed it all up.feedback

You don't want to come out of there saying, We're friends, and the enemy is the deep state and the media. If it were somebody else other than Trump, you could imagine a tough conversation about Ukraine and election meddling, but that's probably too optimistic. Politics does constrain, I think, the parameters of the possible for any kind of major breakthrough.feedback

I hope that he would think about first: what is our objective in Ukraine? What is our objective in Syria? And secondarily, how do I go about achieving that in my meeting with Putin?feedback

I can think of many back channels that one might cultivate to have close, discreet, indirect communications with Putin. VEB's Gorkov would not make my list.feedback

Of course, it is not coincidence that General Flynn was placed next to President Putin. Flynn was considered a close Trump advisor. … Why else would they want him there?feedback

It is not coincidence that Flynn was placed next to President Putin. Flynn was considered a close Trump adviser. Why else would they want him there?feedback

For me, this tragedy underscores the dangers of trying to do deals with dictators without a comprehensive, invasive and permanent inspection regime. It also shows the limits of doing deals with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Surely, the Russians must have known about these chemical weapons.feedback

It depends on whether Putin and Trump hit it off, not on anything Tillerson and Lavrov say. Things will only happen as a result of direct personal, sustained contact between Putin and Trump. That's the way things work with Putin.feedback

After the vote results came in last November, many Russians close to the Kremlin celebrated. “Our Trump” - or #TrumpNash, as they tweeted - had been elected president of the United States. Few in Moscow expected Donald Trump to win, but many Russians wanted him to win, including Vladimir Putin. The Russian president so passionately supported the Republican candidate and despised Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that he brazenly tried to influence our presidential election. As FBI Director James B. Comey described on Monday, the Russians “were unusually loud in their intervention, ” violating our sovereignty by meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy and not seeming to care if they were exposed. The Russian theft and then publication of private data from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta produced a significant impact on our electoral process. The DNC chair was forced to resign and Democratic supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became more enraged at Clinton, causing many of them to stay home on Election Day. Clinton’s image was damaged continuously by daily media coverage of these stolen emails. Of course, many factors combined to produce Trump’s victory, but Putin’s intervention most certainly played a contributing role.feedback

Putin is all about face time, one-on-one with a leader, out at his dacha, man-on-man. Putin is a guy who may speak frankly and all that, but he does his homework and he thinks strategically and he doesn't have these kinds of emotional relationships with leaders.feedback

I think most importantly what the Obama administration did yesterday was to assign direct attribution with overwhelming evidence with who interfered in our election process. Usually in one of these instances, there's a tit-for-tat response. And even Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov already had put together the names of diplomats to expel. But obviously President Putin has decided he's going to wait and deal with the next guy.feedback

Modernization is quite different from expansion. Modernization is allowed under the New START treaty; expansion is not. Putin is smartly playing down the tweet because he has several concessions that he wants to secure from President Trump -- lifting of sanctions, support for his war in Syria, recognition of Crimea as part of Russia -- and therefore does not want to rock the boat right now by reacting to this vague Trump statement.feedback

It is most certainly consistent with the Putin that I have watched and used to work with when I was an ambassador and in the government.feedback

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Quotes by Michael McFaul on Russia

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