Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’
Donald Trump and Sergei Lavrov (Tass)

Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

"Incredibly shocking, coincidental, but the bottom line is two versus zero that just pointed out, Lawrence," McFaul replied.

"It is customary -- I can tell you, because I served at the White House with President Obama -- to have a courtesy call with the foreign minister of Russia in the beginning of a term," he explained.

"It is highly unusual to have a second return of the foreign minister. I think in eight years of the Obama administration foreign minister Lavrov only visited that once," he continued. "And it underscores the fact that President Zelinsky has yet to have an Oval Office visit with the president of the United States, with the leader of the free world."

"I think it's shocking," he said. "Sometimes wonder, What are they thinking?'"

McFaul added, "I do not understand President Trump's obsession with protecting Putin when I don't think it's even in the president's own personal interest. And as a result of that, he is now going to likely face articles of impeachment tomorrow."