"We keep thinking he is going to do some cost-benefit analysis, think how sanctions might affect the prices, bear bank and stock market next week, but that's not who Vladimir Putin is," Michael McFaul said.
February 24, 2022

On Morning Joe, former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul painted a picture of Vladimir Putin as a dangerously erratic man. With, you know, nukes.

"Ambassador, let's begin with you and pick up where we left off on the erratic nature of Vladimir Putin, the erratic nature of this attack, the illogical nature of this attack. I quoted Madeleine Albright who said that it will leave Russia economically crippled and strategically vulnerable. All of these things are fairly obvious. This is an irrational attack. One European country invading another European country in 2022," Joe Scarborough said.

"And his response to that attack and any threats is, do not defend Ukraine, I will employ nuclear weapons. He has been saying that for the past few months. They've said it on state TV about reducing the West to ashes. You've had diplomats making the same threats. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a rational man even by the old Soviet communist standards when we actually had back channels and there was some rhyme and some reason to what the old Soviet empire did."

"I agree. it is tragic. it is irrational. It is also evil. Let's just call it for that. There is good and evil in the world, and this is an evil act," McFaul said.

"You know, I have been saying this forever, Joe. I mean, I hate to say this, but, you know, my last call with the Washington Post was, Putin does not think like we do. we keep thinking he is going to do some cost-benefit analysis, think how sanctions might affect the prices, bear bank and that stock market next week, but that's not who Vladimir Putin is. And he has proven it today on this incredibly tragic day. It is erratic, it is irrational. I actually think it will come back to haunt him.

"I think -- Brezhnev overreacted and overreached in Afghanistan after a series of wins in the 1970s. I think this will be Putin's Afghanistan moment, I think it will come at a terrible price and cost to the Ukrainian people, and I do not think there is rationality there. He is motivated by crazy ideas, I want to emphasize that. I listened to his speech on Monday. I listened to his speech last night. He is talking about de-Nazification. There are no Nazis in Ukraine. He is a democratically elected leader, he is Jewish, not a Nazi.

"I'm sorry I'm so emotional, but we have to get over the fact that that we can deal with this guy as a realpolitik, cost-benefit analysis. We've got to treat him as an irrational, evil leader who has unjustly and grossly attacked a free and democratic Ukraine."

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