BOZEMAN – Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and Montana native Michael McFaul was at the Country Bookstore in Bozeman on Sunday, promoting his new book.
“It is always great to be back in Montana. I love it here and it was great to see so many, I mean hundreds of people came to my talk. A real demonstration that people in Montana really care about foreign policy. It made me feel really great to be here today,” said McFaul.
McFaul grew up in Butte and Bozeman, but this last week his name was known worldwide. On Monday during the summit in Helsinki, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would allow the FBI to question Russian agents about hacking crimes concerning the 2016 election if Russian investigators could interview McFaul. President Donald Trump called it an “incredible offer”.
“I was deeply disappointed in President Trump, that he didn’t understand the situation. He should have pushed back on that,” McFaul said. “It is an outrageous thing to equate those people indicted with the eleven government officials, and I would hope moving forward he would do a little more homework on his brief before he meets with Vladimir Putin.“
On Thursday, the United States Senate rejected the idea of the interrogation by voting unanimously against it, 98-0. Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the offer was made in sincerity; President Trump, however, had decided not to take it.
“To still describe the ‘offer’ as a sincere gesture by Putin suggests to me that the White House doesn’t really understand who Vladimir Putin really is,” McFaul said.
When McFaul was asked why Putin deeply despises him, he answered “because I understand his tactics and speak out against him.”