Former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul explained to MSNBC “The Beat” host Ari Melber how much President Donald Trump’s administration differs from his experience serving in the Barack Obama administration.
“Ambassador, how do you view Steve Bannon’s evolving role…your view as both a diplomat but also has someone who understands how Washington works?” Melber asked.
“Ari, I did work three years at the White House and most certainly if you’re an advisor to the president, you act and operate and speak to the president as if that is a confidential conversation,” McFaul replied.
McFaul worked for the U.S. National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and senior director of Russian and Eurasian affairs.
“But practically, politically, the way I react to reading it, they’re covering up something, that means that there’s something that needs to be revealed and eventually, it looks it will be revealed, not perhaps within the Congress, but before special counsel Robert Mueller and the investigators,” McFaul predicted.
Melber also asked McFaul about the “repeat accusation” in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury that Bannon was leaking damaging information about Jared Kushner, the senior White House advisor and husband of Ivanka Trump.
“We all know leaks happen a lot, but someone of that level, as such a top White House aide, really leaking that type of stuff against a presidential family member, perhaps before he even had the goods or knew whether he was right,” Melber noted.
“Well, nothing of that sort ever happened in the Obama administration, let’s just be clear,” McFaul said with a chuckle. “Yes, there were leaks, but not of that magnitude and from the place that he occupied in the White House.”
“We structurally here are now seeing the results of the politicalization of this investigation and so the congressional committees are not reaching policy prescriptions, they’re not looking at other aspects of what the Russians did,” McFaul observed. “Instead, it’s become a partisan football.”
“We should have had a bipartisan investigative committee like we had after 9/11, the fact that we don’t means that we’re not getting to these critical national security issues, not Democrat or Republican, but national security issues,” McFaul concluded.