Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Tuesday that “Russians are laughing” at America under President Trump.
“I think the Russians are laughing,” he said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think that’s right, but they’re laughing at how easy it is. And how our president, unfortunately, is helping with their agenda.”
McFaul added that recent reports of conflict in NATO and the Group of Seven (G7) please Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Let’s just be clear that NATO and G7 — those are our clubs,” he said. “Those are clubs that we set up to advance our national security interests, to advance our prosperity.”
“And the result of this trip has been discord in both of those groups,” McFaul added of Trump’s first foreign trip as president last week. “That is music to Putin’s ears.”
Trump earlier Tuesday criticized Germany in a tweet about the European nation’s NATO and military spending and trading with the U.S.
“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,” he said. “Very bad for U.S. This will change.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said that Germany could no longer “completely depend” on the U.S. as a reliable partner. Merkel and Trump repeatedly seemed at odds last week on issues including climate change, NATO spending and trade.