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>> The White House buckling under pressure after failing to immediately condemn and reject an idea from Vladimir Putin to allow Russia to question former US Ambassador Michael McFaul, an idea that President Trump praised.>> And what he did is an incredible offer.>> Putin saying he would let US investigators be present for questioning the 12 Russian operatives charged with interfering in the 2016 race, if Russians could do the same in America.
Where people connected to money manager Bill Browder, a one time investor in Russia who's made it his mission in life to expose Russian corruption. On Wednesday, Russia listed other Americans it wanted to question including McFall, Obama's Russian ambassador whom the Kremlin accused of illegal activities. When asked Wednesday if the White House was seriously considering the offer, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not say no.
>> Does President Trump support that idea? Is he open to having US officials questioned by Russia?>> The President is gonna meet with his team, and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that.>> Ms. Secretary, is that a topic that came up in their conversation, did President Putin reasons with President Trump?
>> There was some conversation about it but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States. And the President will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front.>> In a stinging rebuke to the President on Thursday, the Senate passed a resolution, 98 to 0 opposing such an idea.
And current and former officials came to the American ambassador's defense.>> That the President would even entertain the idea of subjecting our diplomats to Putin's thuggery, that is an abuse of power.>> Hillary Clinton tweeted, to see the White House even hesitate to defend a diplomat is deeply troubling.
Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, said under no circumstance should Putin officials ever be allowed to question Americans. A former State Department spokeswoman called it insanity and California Congressman Eric Swalwell, senior Democrat on the intelligence committee made it clear that handing over McFall to Putin would be grounds for impeachment.
McFaul himself told Reuters that quote, it's crazy and should be called crazy and outrageous, not just by me, but by the US government. And after a day of blow-back, the White House on Thursday finally shot the idea down. But Sarah Sanders writing, quote, it was a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it.
Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.