Tags: michael mcfaul | trump | putin | meeting

McFaul, McCaffery Concerned About Trump-Putin Meeting

McFaul, McCaffery Concerned About Trump-Putin Meeting
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By    |   Friday, 06 July 2018 02:57 PM

President Donald Trump is not prepared for his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Friday.

"It doesn't seem like he prepares for these meetings," McFaul, now an NBC News international affairs analyst, told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." 

"The way he talks about our bilateral relationships suggests he's not prepared."

McFaul said he's also concerned when Trump "floats out there" while traveling on Air Force One that he might look into acknowledging Crimea, which Putin annexed in 2014, as part of Russia.

"He's not reading his briefing papers, because I can't imagine a U.S. senior official I know, and I know many of them that worked in the Trump administration, that would recommend he say such a thing."

He also said a senior adviser would not recommend Trump's suggestion that Russia could become part of the G-7 nations, or if he should say the United States should reduce troops in Germany.

"All these are signs of concessions, and nothing in return," McFaul said. "He beats up on our allies, he makes demands of them, and yet with people like Putin, he doesn't seem to be asking for anything other than a good meeting."

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was also on the program with McFaul, told Mitchell that the "most frightening aspect was the roar of the crowd" after Trump railed against NATO and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an appearance in Montana Thursday.

"One thing we should put as a data point, the Russians are magnificent people," said McCaffery. "Physics, mathematics, ballet, literature, soldiers, they're superb people. They're being the first victims of Putin and in his kleptocracy, the former KGB guys."

Putin has isolated Russia, the retired general continued, "and for the president of the United States to not understand the power of our defense and economic relationships with Europe and NATO, the European Union, is simply preposterous."

McFaul added that it "offends him" that Trump says NATO isn't doing anything for the United States, when the opposite is true.

"When we were attacked on Sept. 11, Germany wasn't attacked...yet they sent their soldiers to fight alongside our soldiers in Afghanistan," said McFaul.

"If I'm not mistaken, 54 Germans were killed in Afghanistan fighting for us. So he just doesn't understand the nature of the alliance. He also doesn't understand peace through strength. He should study up on Ronald Reagan."

McCaffery also commented on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to North Korea, saying that he hopes the former senator, who he believes has future political ambitions, "won't want to look like an idiot on the longer term."

"I've done a lot of arms control negotiations," he said. "Step number one is a full declaration of your nuclear program, followed by a willingness to allow verification. If he doesn't get that, nothing else matters."

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Friday that President Donald Trump is not prepared for his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
michael mcfaul, trump, putin, meeting
Friday, 06 July 2018 02:57 PM
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