Former Ambassador Michael McFaul explained how President Donald Trump failed in his Friday phone call with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
The Stanford professor was interviewed on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” with guest-host Steve Kornacki.
“Michael McFaul, I wonder from the standpoint of Putin and folks around him in Russia how this conversation — at least as we now understand it — how they read it,” Kornacki said. “If this is something that the president initiated, they certainly know that the Mueller report came out recently. The president has this conversation, does not bring up this topic of election interference, what does that read as to Putin and folks in Moscow?”
“Great news,” McFaul replied.
“If you read their readout, number one initiated by us, so it is a good question why did we initiate the call? What was the objective of the call? But then when you read off the Russian side, they are putting down their markers about their policy,” he noted.
Prior to his Senate confirmation as ambassador, McFaul served in President Barack Obama’s White House as his senior Russia advisor. He explained how that experience informed his take on Trump’s call with Putin.
“Steve, I used to work at the White House for President Obama, I used to set up these phone calls with the Russians. We would write the readout of the call before the call happened, tweak it perhaps to state what our policy objectives were.
“So, for instance, if I were writing the readout, I would have said we talked about how Russia should not interfere in Venezuela. We talked about how Russia should withdraw their forces and their support for separatists in Ukraine. We talked about dire consequences if they intervene in our elections in 2020,” he explained.
“The president’s readout had none of that kind of language,” he noted.
HBO’s ‘Real Time’ panel provides roadmap for Democrats to get DNI’s Ukraine report and speed-up impeachment
During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher and his guests took up the problems the Democrats are having acquiring Donald Trump'stax returns as well as other documents they need if they are going to impeach the president.
Responding to a question over whether the state of New York will indict the president, the conversation turned to prosecutors seeking Trump's taxes.
According to presidential historian Tim Naftali, there is precedent allowing the acquisition.
"Is it really that hard to get somebody's frigging, f*cking taxes? " host Bill Maher asked.
"Actually, there is a precedent," Naftali explained. "If the House started on the impeachment hearings, they could act on the precedent of 1974, where Nixon's taxes were turned over to the impeachment committee. So there is a precedent, but they have to make the decision that they are having an impeachment inquiry."
Trump slams ‘partisan’ whistleblower, Biden pushes back
US President Donald Trump on Friday vigorously rejected a whistleblower's claim of wrongdoing, amid reports he used a call with Ukraine's president to pressure him to investigate the son of Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden.
The whistleblower's secret complaint has triggered a tense showdown between Congress, whose Democratic leaders are demanding to review the complaint, and the executive branch which has barred them from doing so.
It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent dangerous foreign meddling in the US election -- similar to the interference blamed on Russia in 2016, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
Dem senator accuses the FBI of a carrying out a ‘cover-up’ for Brett Kavanaugh — and calls for an investigation
Old wounds were reopened this week when a New York Times article, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, focused on Deborah Ramirez — one of the women who, in 2018, accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, in a USA Today op-ed published on Friday, argued that Kavanaugh wasn’t adequately vetted as he should have been.