Shameful Behavior by the White House
There should be no question about a request to interview a former US Ambassador.
The White House is reviewing a request by Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow Russian investigators to question a number of Americans they say are implicated in criminal activity, including a former U.S. ambassador, a spokeswoman said.
The White House decision to weigh the proposal rather than dismiss it outright prompted alarm among former diplomats and on Capitol Hill.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Putin and President Donald Trump discussed a desire by Russian authorities to question a number of U.S. citizens, including Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama who now lectures at Stanford University.
Asked at Wednesday’s daily briefing whether Mr. Trump was “open to having U.S. officials questioned by Russia” including Mr. McFaul, Ms. Sanders replied, “There was some conversation about it but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States. The president will work with his team, and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front.”
It is jaw-dropping that the President of the United States did not automatically and immediately refuse to allow a foreign government, especially an authoritarian government, to question a former US Ambassador. Especially since the implication of such a situation is that the US government would help compel McFaul to participate in the interview as an official act.
This is utterly amazing and is yet another example of where I cannot understand how supporters of this administration can defend this behavior by the president.
“Those who serve the U.S. government must know that they will not be put in jeopardy, or offered up as bargaining chips to authoritarian dictators,” said Dan Shapiro, who was ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration. “President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the administration need to shut this travesty down immediately.”