Stanford professor among intelligence officials Vladimir Putin wanted to question

- A Stanford professor is at the center of a fallout following comments from Monday's Helsinki Summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian authorities named Michael McFaul as one of several American intelligence officials they want to want to question.

McFaul was the U.S. Ambassador to Russia under President Obama from 2012 to 2014 and is now a political science professor at Stanford University anddirector of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

The White House Thursday reversed comments made one day prior, now saying it disagrees with a Russian offer to allow the Kremlin to interview Americans accused of unspecified crimes, including McFaul, in exchange for allowing the U.S. to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election.

The reversal came shortly before the Senate Thursday unanimously approved a resolution to keep any current or former diplomat from such Russian interrogation.

After the vote, McFaul tweeted: "98-0. Bipartisanship is not dead yet in the US Senate. Thank you all for your support."

"What comes across to me about this is Putin is a man who has personal obsessions and those obsessions include his enemies," said Robert Service, a Senior Fellow with Stanford's Hoover Institution.

Service has studied Russian politics for 50 years and works one building over from McFaul at Stanford.

He calls Monday's summit a public relations disaster for the U.S.

"I've been reading the Russian papers, the newspapers, listening to some of the radio. They are crowing about this," said Service.

Service says the U.S. should be better prepared for the next meeting.

"I think President Trump walked into a trap," said Service. "It's in all our interests that we help him dig himself out now.”

The White House Thursday announced a second meeting will take place between the two leaders in the Fall, but did not specify if it would happen at the White House.
 

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