Michael McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, strongly rejected President Donald Trump’s denials that Russia was still targeting the United States.
That’s because the Kremlin has personally targeted him for persecution.
The White House confirmed that Trump is considering a Putin proposal to allow Russian authorities question McFaul over a flimsily supported money laundering allegation in exchange for allowing the interrogation of 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted in the special counsel probe.
“I’ve known Vladimir Putin for a long time, met him first in 1991,” McFaul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
McFaul said the Russian president has considered him a political threat for years.
“I’ve been in several meetings with him when I was in government,” McFaul said. “I wrote a whole book about his intimidation and harassment of me as a U.S. ambassador to document for the American people who this guy is and what he does, both abroad and to his own people and diplomats like me. It’s unprecedented what he does.”
The former ambassador said Putin’s request was “classic whataboutism,” and he said Trump wasn’t knowledgeable enough about geopolitical issues to push back.
“It’s classic whataboutism — you know, ‘You got your problems, we got our problems, you have your charges, we have our charges against your American government officials,'” McFaul said.
“What I fear, you know,” he continued, “because President Trump probably is not as conversant in these issues as he should be, or most certainly not as conversant as Putin is, he probably just nodded along. ‘Okay, that sounds like a good idea. Oh, you have some trouble with our government officials.'”
McFaul said the president had confirmed that he entertained Putin’s proposal, and the White House did as well.
“You don’t need to believe me, he said it to the world,” McFaul said. “He thinks it was a great idea, and that’s just perfect for Vladimir Putin.”
McFaul said the Russian president didn’t like him because he had publicly criticized his human rights abuses, and he feared the Trump administration would protect him.
“This is an active intimidation against me, and it’s going to create problems for me in the long run,” he said. “My government, I hope, will step up today and categorically swat this back. When I mean my government, I mean my president of the United States of America.
“When he just said last night (that) America is no longer under attack, I’m sorry — I’m an American, I’m under attack by Vladimir Putin right now,” McFaul added. “I hope he’ll stand up. But now they will make my life more difficult as I travel abroad, with Interpol, perhaps. They want to harass me and they want to intimidate me and make me quiet.”
Trump’s tax law threatened TurboTax’s profits — so the company started charging the disabled, the unemployed and students
The 2017 tax overhaul vastly expanded the number of people who could file simplified tax returns, a boon to millions of Americans.
But the new law directly threatened the lucrative business of Intuit, the maker of TurboTax.
Although the company draws in customers with the promise of a “free” product, its fortunes depend on getting as many customers as possible to pay. It had been regularly charging $100 or more for returns that included itemized deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations. Under the new law, many wealthier taxpayers would no longer be filing that form, qualifying them to use the company’s free software.
Trump’s packed Supreme Court backs ‘forced arbitration’ that bars workers from taking abusive bosses to court
Corporations are rapidly rendering sexual harassment, race and gender discrimination, life-threatening workplaces and wage theft immune to employee legal action.
They achieve this by forcing the vast majority of non-union private-sector workers to sign away their rights to go to court or use class or collective arbitration. Instead many millions of workers are being forced to forgo these efficient legal ways to resolve issues and to file individual arbitration claims.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy says that by 2024 more than 80% of non-union private-sector workers will find courthouse doors chained shut by forced arbitration clauses that ban lawsuits and collective actions. (EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to press the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.)
Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels — here’s why
A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.
I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.