Ex-ambassador to Russia calls on White House to denounce 'ridiculous' request from Putin to question him

Ex-ambassador to Russia calls on White House to denounce 'ridiculous' request from Putin to question him
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Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul demanded the White House reject the possibility of allowing Russian investigators to question him or other Americans.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Wednesday's press briefing that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE did not dismiss the possibility and that he would “meet with his team” about it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a joint press conference with Trump that he would let special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE attend the interrogation of 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with interfering in the U.S. election, if Russian investigators were permitted to interrogate people “who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia.”

Russian media later reported that the Russian prosecutor general’s office wants to question McFaul and others as part of Russia's investigation into American financier Bill Browder. 

“I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin,” McFaul tweeted Wednesday. “Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a [legitimate] US indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin."

Browder lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to freeze the assets and revoke visas of Russians suspected of human rights abuses.

Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky, the law’s namesake, died under mysterious circumstances while imprisoned in Russia.

Russia also reportedly wants to interview Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier that includes salacious claims about Trump’s alleged links to Russia.

In Monday’s press conference, Putin, without evidence, accused Browder of illegally funneling money out of Russia and into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE’s presidential campaign.


Browder's U.S. visa was revoked, then restored, last fall. The action was a result of Moscow adding Browder's name to an Interpol list of criminal fugitives, according to The New York Times

In a series of tweets late Tuesday night, McFaul expressed concern that Trump may have agreed to Putin’s proposal, and called on reporters to ask Huckabee Sanders about it during Wednesday’s press briefing.

“Hey WH press Corps, can you confirm tomorrow with [Sanders] that Putin discussed me personally in his one on one with Trump?” he tweeted. “Did he suggest that I was part of some alleged money laundering scheme? And did Trump push back on this completely invented , whacko idea?”

-Updated 6:30 p.m.