Former President Barack Obama's ambassador to the Russian Federation responded on MSNBC to President Donald Trump's claim he is "much tougher on Russia than Obama."
Speaking with MSNBC host Chuck Todd, Ambassador Michael McFaul, explained how Donald Trump won't criticize Vladimir Putin on Twitter. Even when boasting of his toughness.
I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1519133929.0
"You know who is tough on Russia? Bob Mueller," McFaul suggested. "That is being tough on Russia...going forward, if you are connected to what these people were doing, and in any way shape or form, you also broke the law."
"He has never criticized Vladimir Putin," Ambassador McFaul pointed out, adding, "twenty-one tweets or whatever and not one of them was aimed at Putin."
"So you know Vladimir Putin about as well, you know him well in some respect, it is hard to know this person very well. But how do you believe he is reacting to the fact that the president doesn't get tough on him the way everybody American government does?" Todd asked.
"I've known Putin for a long time," McFaul responded. "I wouldn't say we're Facebook friends, but I first met him in the spring of 1991."
"One thing I know about Putin, he doesn't respect weakness, he only respects strength," he explained.
"And a our president looked really weak this weekend, he looked like he was flailing about. He didn't look confident," he observed. "He was shooting at -- tweets off about everything and everybody except Vladimir Putin."
"That is a sign of weakness. That is how Vladimir Putin perceives our president today," Ambassador McFaul concluded.