Donald Trump claimed via Twitter on Tuesday that he is “much tougher on Russia than Obama.” The president’s tweet was criticized by Michael McFaul, former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the Russian Federation.
McFaul appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday where he spoke with host Chuck Todd about the Tweet.
I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018
“You know who is tough on Russia? Bob Mueller,” McFaul suggested. “That is being tough on Russia…going forward, if you are connected to what these people were doing, and in any way shape or form, you also broke the law.”
“He has never criticized Vladimir Putin,” McFaul noted, adding, “twenty-one tweets or whatever and not one of them was aimed at Putin.”
“So you know Vladimir Putin about as well, you know him well in some respect, it is hard to know this person very well. But how do you believe he is reacting to the fact that the president doesn’t get tough on him the way everybody American government does?” Todd asked.
“I’ve known Putin for a long time,” McFaul responded. “I wouldn’t say we’re Facebook friends, but I first met him in the spring of 1991.”
“One thing I know about Putin, he doesn’t respect weakness, he only respects strength,” he explained.
“And a our president looked really weak this weekend, he looked like he was flailing about. He didn’t look confident,” he observed. “He was shooting at — tweets off about everything and everybody except Vladimir Putin.”
“That is a sign of weakness. That is how Vladimir Putin perceives our president today,” Ambassador McFaul concluded.
Take a look at the interview in the video clip below: