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McFaul: Putin didn’t like me


Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

If Vladimir Putin doesn’t like you, he’ll say it to your face.

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who quit the post in February after a turbulent two years, went on a little media tour (and he’s not even promoting a book … yet) appearing on “The Colbert Report” Monday night and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning.

Acknowledging that Putin considered him a “personal enemy,” McFaul told Colbert: “He didn’t like me, that’s right. In fact, he told me once or twice.”

Putin believed McFaul was sent to Russia to organize opposition against him, a charge Putin also had made about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

McFaul said that he was under surveillance “all the time” while in Moscow. Colbert asked the diplomat how the United States could be sure he hadn’t been turned by the Russians.

“If they were trying to recruit me,” he said, “I would have preferred a little better treatment.”

Note to Sheila Gwaltney, acting ambassador in Moscow, beware if Putin invites you over for a little beluga caviar and Russo-Baltique vodka.

McFaul’s publication of “My Life with Vlad” is inevitable, right?

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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