Ex-Russian ambassador: I’m ‘shocked’ Trump would turn me over to Putin for questioning
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Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Thursday called it "shocking" that the White House would not immediately dismiss Russian President Vladimir Putin's request to interview McFaul and other U.S. citizens as part of criminal investigations.

'This is classic 'whataboutism' by the Russians," McFaul said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" when asked about Putin's comments at a press conference with President TrumpDonald John TrumpChanges in policies, not personalities, will improve perception of corruption in the US Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE on Monday.

"And most shocking, and just lamentable I think is my real reaction, when the White House was given the opportunity to categorically reject this moral equivalency… the White House refused to do that," he continued.


"And I hope somebody asks them another question today and they’ll get it right today. We’ve seen a lot of that lately," he added, taking a jab at several instances in recent days where the White House has corrected initial statements from Trump.

At a joint press conference in Finland, Putin said he’d be willing to allow U.S. law enforcement to travel to Russia and observe the questioning of suspects implicated in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe. In exchange, Putin said he’d want access to U.S. citizens for questioning. 

Trump appeared receptive to the offer, calling it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer."

After the joint press conference, Russian prosecutor general’s office released a list of U.S. citizens that included McFaul and others who Russia believes are connected to British financier Bill Browder.

Putin claimed without evidence on Monday that Browder had illegally taken $1.5 billion out of Russia, including $400 million that was funneled into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He later clarified that he believed Browder donated $400,000 to Clinton’s campaign. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump will discuss the concept with other U.S. officials, but added that "there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States."

FBI Director Christopher Wray laughed off the concept during an interview Wednesday night, and the State Department called the Russian request "absurd."