Oct 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McMaster: Putin is determined to "drag us all down"

H.R. McMaster

Axios' Mike Allen (left) and retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. Photo: Axios

Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, President Trump's former national security adviser, said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "determined to drag us all down like the KGB operator he is" through political subversion and disinformation.

What he's saying: "He's quite adept at it. He's one of the best liars in the world, deceivers in the world. ... Let's just stop being chumps about this. Right?"

  • "Russia is operating under the theory that he (Putin) can maybe be the last man standing because he'll be successful, in his view, at shaking confidence within our democratic societies in Europe and in the United States, in particular.

The big picture: McMaster, who has a new book out, "Battlegrounds," said all presidents, not just Trump, get Putin wrong in trying to foster a relationship, but "it's not going to get better," he said.

  • "The reason it's not is the ideology and emotion that drives (Putin). He is driven by a sense of honor lost, associated with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the loss of the Cold War, and then also this drive to restore Russia to national greatness, as I mentioned."

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