Michael McFaul

  • Aired:  04/28/14
  •  | Views: 11,155

Former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul discusses Vladimir Putin and the challenge of rebuilding a working relationship with Russia. (6:23)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THEFORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO

RUSSIA.

OR CRIMEA.

IT'S HARD TO TELL AT THISPOINT.

PLEASE WELCOME AMBASSADORMICHAEL McFAUL.

(APPLAUSE)MR. AMBASSADOR THANK YOU SO

MUCH FOR COMING ON.

NOW AMBASSADOR THAT SAYGREAT TITLE.

YOU GET TO HOLD ON TO THATEVEN IF YOU ARE NOT

AMBASSADOR ANY MORE?

>> TECHNICALLY BUT NOW I'MPROFESSOR.

>> Stephen: YOUR EXCELLENCY.

>> IF YOU WANT TO CALL METHAT, THAT WOULD BE HAPPY.

>> Stephen: THAT IS REALLYNICE.

I WOULD HAVE CARDS PRINTEDUP.

OKAY.

NOW AS I SAID YOU WEREFORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO

RUSSIA.

AN ARCHITECT OF PRESIDENTOBAMA'S RESET POLICY THERE.

I HEAR THAT TERM A LOT.

WHAT DOES RESET MEAN?

BECAUSE WE SEEM LIKE WE'RERESET TO THE COLD WAR WITH

RUSSIA.

>> WHICH I'M IN FAVOR OF,WHAT WAS THE INTENTION OF

OUR RESET WITH RUSSIA?

>> WELL BACK IN 2009 WHENPRESIDENT OBAMA USED THAT

TERM THE FIRST TIME, THEIDEA WAS VERY SIMPLE.

THAT WE HAVE SOME COMMONINTEREST WITH RUSSIA.

AND IF WE ENGAGE WITH THEM IFWE TALK TO THEM WE CAN

ACHIEVE THOSE OUTCOMES SOGETTING RID OF NUCLEAR

WEAPONS, SANCTIONS ON IRAN,SUPPLYING OUR TROOPS IN

AFGHANISTAN THROUGH RUSSIAOR INCREASING TRADE AND

INVESTMENT, AND THAT'S WHATWE DID.

>> WE GOT THOSE.

>> WE GOT THOSE.

>> WHERE DO THING GOES SOUTHHERE?

IS IT WHEN WE DIDN'T AGREEWITH THEM OVER THE GAYS?

THAT WHAT IT WAS?

BECAUSE REMEMBER THOSE DAYSWHEN THE ONLY THING WE

DIDN'T LIKE WAS THE WHOLE HEDOESN'T LIKE GAYS PEOPLE.

I'M NOSTALGIC FOR THAT ATTHIS POINT.

>> I'M NOT.

WELL, IT HAD TO DO WITHTHAT.

BECAUSE THE RESET WAS WITHPRESIDENT MEDVEDEV.

>> Stephen: THE SHORT GUY.

>> THE SHORT GUY, NEITHER ISVERY BIG BUT THE OTHER GUY.

>> Stephen: PUTIN SEEMS TALL,RIGHT?

>> THEY'RE BOTH THE SAMESIZE.

BUT WHEN PRESIDENT PUTINCAME IN, HE CHANGED THE TONE

AND THEN LATER THE POLICY.

I THINK IT REALLY HAD TO DOWITH THE CHANGE.

>> Stephen: AS AMBASSADORTO RUSSIA, HOW MANY YEARS.

>> TWO YEARS.

>> Stephen: HOW DO I KNOW THEYDIDN'T TURN YOU? LET ME JUST

ASK YOU THIS, LET ME SAYTHIS TO YOU, THE SQUIRREL IS

IN THE BASKET.

DOES THAT MEAN ANYTHING TOYOU.

>> NOTHING AT ALL.

>> Stephen: GOOD CAUSE -->> IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING

THAT IS NOT A CODE WORD ATALL.

ALL RIGHT.

WAS THERE A MOMENT -->> THEY.

>> IF THEY WERE TRYING TORECRUIT ME, I WOULD HAVE

PREFERRED A LITTLE BITBETTER TREATMENT.

>> Stephen: WAS THERE AMOMENT WHEN YOU WERE THERE

YOU DON'T THINK YOU WEREUNDER SURVEILLANCE.

>> THAT I WAS NOT?

>> Stephen: YEAH.

>> NO, ALL THE TIME.

>> Stephen: PUTIN SAW YOU ASA PERSONAL ENEMY.

>> YEAH, HE DID.

>> Stephen: HE THOUGHT YOUWERE BEHIND THE 2011 PROTEST

AGAINST HIS REGIME.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

I MEAN NOT JUST ME, THEPRESIDENT OBAMA, UNITED

STATES, THE WEST.

>> Stephen: BUT HE DIDN'TLIKE YOU PARTICULARLY.

>> YEAH, HE DIDN'T LIKE ME,THAT'S RIGHT.

HE DIDN'T.

IN FACT, HE TOLD ME ONCE ORTWICE.

>> Stephen: OH REALLY?

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: WHAT DID HE SAY?

>> JUST WHAT YOU SAID, THATHE SAID I THINK YOU'RE

SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITIONAGAINST ME.

>> Stephen: WERE YOU, WEREYOU DOING THAT?

>> NO I WASN'T, I MEAN-- IMEAN I MET WITH EVERYBODY.

I ENGAGED AS A DIPLOMAT ISSUPPOSED TO DO.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU A MEMBEROF PUSSY RIOT IS WHAT I'M

ASKING?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> I'M NOT A MEMBER.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> THOUGH I HAVE MET WITHTHEM.

>> Stephen: ME TOO.

>> SOON AFTER THEY WERE ONYOUR SHOW.

THEY LIKED YOU A LOT.

>> Stephen: DID THEY LIKEYOU?

>> I DON'T KNOW I THINK THEYHAD MORE FUN WITH YOU.

>> Stephen: I WILL PUT IN AGOOD WORD FOR YOU.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT DO WE DONOW THAT WE HAVE SORT OF HIT

THE RESET BUTTON, THINGS AREROUGH BETWEEN US AND RUSSIA

AGAIN DO WE HIT THE RESETBUTTON AGAIN OR DO WE TAKE

THE CARTRIDGE OUT OF THECONSOLE AND BLOW ON IT A FEW

TIMES BEFORE WE PUT IT BACKIN?

HOW DO WE GET BACK TO AWORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH

THEM.

>> I DON'T THINK IT'S GOINGHAPPEN ANY TIME SOON.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

>> THERE IS NOT ANOTHER-- IDON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO GO

OUT AND FIND ANOTHER RESETBUTTON BECAUSE PUTIN DECIDED

HE DOESN'T WANT TO COOPERATEWITH US.

HE DOESN'T WANT THESEWIN-WIN OUTCOMES THAT I JUST

TALKED ABOUT.

AND HE IS ON A DIFFERENTCOURSE.

>> Stephen: SEEMS WIN-WINFOR HIM.

HE IS EATING OURLUNCH OVER THERE.

WHY WON'T WE PUT TROOPS INCRIMEA.

>> YOU WANT TROOPS INCRIMEA.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS WRONGWITH HAVING A LAND WAR IN

ASIA?

>> Stephen: WHEN DID THATEVER GO WRONG?

(APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: BECAUSE NOBODY

WANTS TO DO THAT ANDTHEREFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA I

THINK RIGHTLY IS TRYING TOCHANGE PUTIN'S CALCULUS,

USING DIFFERENT WAYS, INPARTICULAR ECONOMIC SANCTION,

MAYBE IN THE SHORT RUNTHAT MAKES PUTIN POPULAR.

IT HAS, HE IS AT 80%, IOBAMA IS AT 43.

>> Stephen: MAYBE OBAMASHOULD INVADE SASKATCHEWAN,

SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> I DON'T THINK THAT ISWISE BUT I DON'T DO DOMESTIC

POLITICS.

BUT THAT'S NOT GOING TOLAST BECAUSE IN THE LONG RUN

THIS SYSTEM THAT PUTIN SET UP,THIS AUTOCRATIC REGIME, I

THINK WILL RUN ITS COURSEAND IF THE ECONOMY BEGINS TO

TANK HIS SUPPORT WILL ALSOFALL.

>> Stephen: IS THERE ANYMECHANISM INSIDE RUSSIA TO

STOP HIM OR DOES HE HAVECOMPLETE POWER.

>> HE HAS COMPLETE-- NOTTOTAL POWER.

THERE IS A LOT OF RICHPEOPLE THAT DON'T WANT TO

LOSE THEIR MONEY BECAUSE OFTHE ADVENTURES IN UKRAINE

BUT THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEMIF RUSSIA WERE MORE

DEMOCRATIC, IF THERE WERE ACONGRESS IF THERE WERE

OPPOSITION PARTIES, IF THEREWERE A SHOW LIKE YOURS IN

RUSSIA THAT WOULD BECRITICISM-- CRITICIZING

PRESIDENT PUTIN THAT WOULDMAKE IT MORE COSTLY FOR HIM.

RIGHT NOW HE DOESN'T HAVETHOSE KIND OF CONTROLS ON

HIS POWER.

>> Stephen: IF THERE WAS ASHOW LIKE MINE IN RUSSIA I

WOULD LET SOMEONE ELSE STARTMY CAR.

YOUR EXCELLENCY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)AMBASSADOR MICHAEL McFAUL.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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