Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia under President Obama, apologized Sunday after posting a private message on Twitter online boasting about his “giant house in heaven” and his annual income of nearly a million dollars.
McFaul, now director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, posted the post on a private channel but still said it was a mistake.
“I apologize,” he tweeted. “It was arrogant and silly. A swarm of Russian trolls accused me of failure, and I responded in a very unprofessional manner. Explanation, not excuse.”
The private exchange was picked up by influential journalist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald said McFaul was responding to an anonymous reviewer and bragged about “what a lavish and wealthy life he leads and how much adored fans he has around the world.”
McFaul’s post read, “I have a lifelong job at the best university in the world. I live in a giant house in Heaven. I earn almost a million dollars a year. I have adoring fans at the television and half a million followers on twitter, 99% who admire me too. [sp] It’s fine without a goddamn visa from Russia. And I’m not afraid to tweet under my own name. I’m sorry for people like you who aren’t brave enough to do this. “
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2018 that McFaul, who served as an ambassador for two years, was denied a Russian visa and told it was banned.
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McFaul did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News. He had supporters online who sympathized with him for facing anonymous criticism and who said the private message should have been kept private.
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