JRL NEWSWATCH: “Michael McFaul on Putin the Intimidator” – Los Angeles World Affairs Council

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… The first time … McFaul met … Putin … [when] he was an assistant to the mayor of St Petersburg[,] ‘He made absolutely no impression on me …’ said McFaul. ‘I would never have predicted … that he would become President of Russia.’ … when McFaul arrived in Moscow in 2012 as … U.S. ambassador …. [a]t their very first meeting, Putin turned to McFaul and shouted at him about ‘certain people’ … damaging US-Russian relations — meaning McFaul. ‘He had that cold, penetrating look — very intimidating – I had sweat running down my back,’ McFaul [said at a recent dinner in Los Angeles] …. ‘He likes to get inside your head – after all, he is a former KGB agent.’ * * * Today, Putin blames the U.S. as a tool of his domestic politics, and … [has] complete control over the news media, many Russians support him. ‘The future is very scary,’ said McFaul. Not only are the Russians modernizing their nuclear weapons – to include a nuclear-tipped submarine – but they have also become extremely skilled at propagating fake news. And the U.S. has been very slow to harden its cyber protections. …”

Click here for: “Michael McFaul on Putin the Intimidator” – Los Angeles World Affairs Council