Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia under former President Obama, apologized for a message he sent in a private channel that surfaced online.
The apology: McFaul, who now works as the director of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, said he was wrong to post the message. The former ambassador explained that he was responding to “Russian trolls” and described his reply as “unprofessional.”
I wrote that message in a private channel. I did not expect it to be published. But it was still a mistake. I apologize. It was arrogant and idiotic. A swarm of Russian trolls was accusing me of failure, and I responded in a most unprofessional way,” he tweeted.
“Explanation, not excuse,” McFaul added.
How we got here: McFaul’s message was published by journalist Glenn Greenwald who shared a screenshot of his comment.
Greenwald said McFaul bragged about “what a lavish and wealthy life he leads and how he has adoring fans around the world” to an anonymous critic.
“I have a job for life at the best university in the world. I live in a giant house in paradise. I make close to a million dollars a year. I have adoring fans on tv and half million followers on twitter, 99% who also admire me. Im [sp] doing just fine without a damn visa from Russia. And I am not afraid to tweet under my own name. I feel sorry for people like you who aren’t brave enough to do so,” McFaul said in his message.
Greenwald also reported that McFaul suggested his critics worked for Russian President Vladimir Putin and “said he would assume he was a Kremlin agent unless he immediately provided his real name.”
“Everyone is a Kremlin agent to these elite conspiratorial loons,” Greenwald added.
Worth noting: Russia denied McFaul’s request for a visa and banned him. the Los Angeles Times reported in 2018.
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