Outrage as Trump considers Putin’s proposal to question US citizens
US President Donald Trump caused an outrage among the citizens of the United States when the news of him considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to question American citizens came to light.
Among these is former US Ambassador Michael McFaul. Mr McFaul, who was the US Ambassador to Russia during President Barack Obama’s administration, is sought by the Kremlin for “illegal activities”. Sarah Sanders, the White House spokeswoman said, and quote, “The president is going to meet with his team and we’ll let you know when we have an announcement on that.” She also added that Mr Trump thought it was an interesting idea and that he “wants to work with his team and determine if there is any validity that would be helpful to the process”. Ms Sanders’ comments caused a huge outrage in America, including from Mr McFaul. Of course, doing this would result in a startling shift in US policy, because, and especially since, it could violate the international legal principle of diplomatic immunity. The other person considered for questioning is Mr Bill Browder, a one-time investor in Russia, who was accused by Mr Putin of making contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign with money he had earned, and not paid taxes on, in Russia.
Mr McFaul denied Russia’s accusations, saying, quote, “It’s crazy and should be called crazy and outrageous, not just by me, but by the US government”. Samantha Power, the former US ambassador to the UN, said Trump’s refusal to stand up to Putin was “a travesty”, while Democrat congressman Ted Lieu said it was “batshit crazy”. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the Russian allegations “absolutely absurd”. Mr Bill Browder said on Fox Business Network that it was “just shocking” for Trump’s spokeswoman to say they were considering letting Russia question US officials.
This comes just days after the Trump-Putin conference in Finland, where Mr Putin first made this proposal.
*Neha Hardikar is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team