A former US ambassador to Russia laid into Donald Trump on Wednesday for repeatedly “parroting” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talking points.
The remarks came during a discussion about Putin’s warning that Russia will target the United States if it deploys missiles in Europe, which came during the Russian version of a State of the Union.
MSNBC political analyst Elise Jordan pointed out in a Wednesday afternoon panel that Putin did not appear to be targeting Trump, but rather the “ruling elites” in the US.
“Putin chose to call out America’s ruling elites for their posture towards Russia,” Jordan said. “He wasn’t necessarily calling out Donald Trump. He was calling out people in national security circles who want a stronger stance.”
Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, said that was a “great observation.”
“It’s a pattern we’ve seen for a couple of years,” the ex-ambassador said. “Putin always talks about this ‘deep state, the foreign policy elite’ — he’s talking about me, he’s talking about us when he says that.”
“It’s a way for him to distance his relationship with President Trump,” McFaul added. “He’s still holding out the idea that if he could just work with Trump, they could resolve these kinds of issues. And it’s new, he didn’t talk that way during the Obama Administration.
Trump’s apparent echoing of his Russian counterpart makes their off-the-record conversations all the more concerning, McFaul said.
“We’ve seen time and time again that when Trump and Putin get together, President Putin spins lies and disinformation that President Trump accepts,” he said.
“So we’ve heard that he thinks that North Korean missiles can’t attack us,” McFaul detailed. “We’ve heard that people like me in Helsinki were involved in some cockamamie scheme to launder money out of Russia to help the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. We’ve heard crazy stories about how the people in Montenegro are going to start World War III. All of that is Putin disinformation.”
It’s shocking, he added, “that the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief of the United States, parrots it. That’s very troubling.”
US embassy warned Ukrainians to ‘stay out’ of American politics : David Holmes testimony
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday released explosive testimony from diplomat David Holmes.
Holmes, the political counselor at the embassy, testified about the "meddling" by Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"I guess I would say that Giuliani was sort of meddling in Ukrainian affairs by asking them to open an investigation that would—could be perceived as meddling in U.S. politics," Holmes testified.
Mike Pompeo called Sean Hannity and demanded he back up his allegations against Ukraine ambassador: report
On Monday, the transcript of the testimony from foreign service officer David Hale was released to the public. And one of the most startling moments from the transcript was a claim that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called up Fox News host Sean Hannity and demanded he back up the claims he was making against former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch:
Reading through the David Hale testimony now, as one does when this is now their life, and apparently Sec. Pompeo called Sean Hannity and told him to produce evidence of the stuff he was saying about Amb. Marie Yovanovitch pic.twitter.com/d34iZrxBtG
Trump’s ‘thuggish’ demands his aides lie for him blasted by CNN analyst: ‘The president operates like he’s a king’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Kirsten Powers blasted President Donald Trump for his "thuggish" insistence that his aides help him conceal his own wrongdoing.
"Kirsten, it will be interesting to see how the president decides to conduct himself this week, whether or not, you know, he continues to tweet against witnesses or about witnesses as they are testifying," said Cooper.
"Yeah. Why wouldn't he keep doing what he always does?" said Powers. "He seems incapable of not doing that. And I do think this moving people, punishing people, right, for testifying under oath and telling the truth, I think it's thuggish. It really is. It's beyond inappropriate, in the sense that the president operates like he's a king, basically. Like these people are supposed to go up there and lie. They've been called before Congress. They're telling the truth. They should not be punished for that. They work for the U.S. government, which is something that is actually bigger than Donald Trump."