NEW: Sanders says there was “some conversation” between Trump, Putin about possibility of Russia questioning U.S. figures, including former Amb. McFaul, “but there wasn’t a commitment made…the president will work with his team and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement.” pic.twitter.com/UnubKsNmrr
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 18, 2018
This kind of got lost in all of the breaking news.
Courtesy of The Hill:
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump will discuss allowing Russian investigators to come to the United States to question U.S. citizens, including a former American ambassador to Russia.
Sanders said during a White House press briefing that Trump is “gonna meet with his team” to talk about the potential for Russian officials to question U.S. citizens like Michael McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February 2014.
“There was some conversation about it, but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States,” Sanders said. “The president will work with his team and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference with Trump on Monday that the Kremlin would permit special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to travel to Russia and attend the questioning of 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted in the probe, if Russia is allowed to help interrogate some people “who have something to do with illegal actions in the territory of Russia.”
Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that Russia wanted to question McFaul and Christopher Steele, author of the so-called Steele dossier, and others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder. Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia.
So our government under Donald Trump is literally considering placing a former US Ambassador in a room with Russian FSB agents?
These are the same guys who kill Putin enemies with things like a nerve agent, a poison-tipped umbrella, or a little thallium sprinkled into their food.
They should never be allowed ANYWHERE NEAR one of our people.
If that Bill Brower name seems familiar that is because he was behind the Magnitsiky Act that pisses Putin off so completely. (It was what that Russain woman wanted to talk to Doanld Trump Jr. about in that Trump Tower meeting.
Browder actually wrote a piece in Time Magazine talking about the fact that Putin singled him out:
I’m lodged so firmly under Putin’s skin because I’m the person responsible for getting the Magnitsky Act passed in the United States in 2012. This is a law that allows the U.S. government to freeze assets and ban visas of human-rights violators around the world. Some of these human-rights violators had killed Sergei Magnitsky, my Russian lawyer who was murdered in a Moscow jail for uncovering a massive $230 million government-corruption scheme that we’ve since traced to known Putin cronies. In essence, Putin received some of the proceeds of this crime, and he is terrified that the Magnitsky Act could be applied to his offshore fortune, which is probably one of the largest amassed in modern times.
The Helsinki summit is not the first time my name has come up at a Putin press conference. Back in 2006 at the G-8 Conference in St. Petersburg, a young reporter for the Moscow Times asked why I’d been denied an entry visa to Russia and declared a threat to national security, all with no explanation. She pointed out that I was the biggest foreign investor in the Russian stock market, and that the prime minister of the United Kingdom had asked Putin about my situation earlier that day.
Luckily for Browder, he is really not an American citizen as he emigrated to England 29 years ago so at least he is safe from having Putin’s puppet hand him over for execution.
As for other folks on Putin’s hit list, well it appears that the Senate got off their fat asses long enough to tell Trump that is a no no.
Courtesy of The Hill:
The Senate on Thursday approved a resolution warning President Trump not to let the Russian government question diplomats and other officials, not long after the White House released a statement backpedaling on a proposal to allow Moscow to help interrogate U.S. citizens such as former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
Senators voted 98-0 on the resolution spearheaded by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez (N.J.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Brian Schatz (Hawaii).
“That President Trump would even consider handing over a former U.S. ambassador to Putin and his cronies for interrogation is bewildering. …This body must agree on the importance of protecting our ambassadors. We should pass it today, not wait, not show any equivocation,” Schumer said ahead of the vote, which was scheduled before the White House backtracked.
Of course, the resolution is non-binding to Trump could simply ignore it.
However, the White House just released a statement saying they are rejecting this trade-off.
For now at least.