Former ambassador to Russia: Putin wanted 'revenge' against Clinton

Russia interfered in the U.S. elections to get revenge against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo, the polls aren't wrong — but you have to know what to look for How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls MORE, a former U.S. ambassador to the Kremlin said Sunday. 

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Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, said he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to help Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE win the presidency to hurt Clinton.  

"Let's remember that Vladimir Putin thinks [Clinton] interfered in his election — the parliamentary election in December 2011 — and has said as much publicly, and I've heard him talk about it privately," McFaul said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The New York Times reported last week that American intelligence agencies concluded that Russia acted covertly to harm Clinton's campaign and promote Trump. 

Putin would also be motivated to help Trump because the two support many of the same policies, McFaul said. 

"It's very rational in my view that [Putin] would rather see President-elect Trump be the next president of the United States instead of Secretary Clinton," he said.  

"We really do need this bipartisan, independent investigation that others are calling for."