Michael McFaul Testifies Before House Intelligence Committee

Michael McFaul Testifies Before House Intelligence Committee

Michael McFaul

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a public hearing on Thursday, March 28, 2019, as part of its investigation into Russian influence during and after the 2016 election campaign.

The hearing, "Putin’s Playbook: The Kremlin’s Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond” included testimony by Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.

Download Complete Testimony (PDF 263 KB)


To contain and thwart the malicious effects of “Putinism,” the United States government and the American people must first understand the nature of the threat. This testimony focuses onthe nexus of political and economic power within Russia under Putin’s leadership, and how these domestic practices can be used abroad to advance Putin’s foreign policy agenda. Moreover, it is important to underscore that crony capitalism, property rights provided by the state, bribery, and corruption constitute only a few of many different mechanisms used by Putin in his domestic authority and foreign policy abroad.

This testimony proceeds in three parts. Section I describes the evolution of Putin’s system of government at home, focusing in particular on the relationship between the state and big business. Section II illustrates how Putin seeks to export his ideas and practices abroad. Section III focuses on Putin’s specific foreign policy objective of lifting sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.

Watch the C-SPAN recording of the testimony

Media Contact: Ari Chasnoff, Assistant Director for Communications, 650-725-2371, chasnoff@stanford.edu