William Browder, the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, an investment fund, called the mere idea that the While House would be considering handing him and his colleagues over to Russia for questioning "absolutely appalling and ridiculous."
"The idea that the White House and Donald Trump would be considering handing these people over and me over to the Russians is just appalling," Browder told Fox News.
The rebuke comes after Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that President Trump would consider allowing Russian officials to come to the US to question American citizens, including former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, in connection with criminal claims against Bill Browder.
"There was some conversation about it, but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States," Sanders said.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Russia's prosecutor general named those whom Russia would like to interview as part of the criminal case against Browder, including himself, McFaul and 10 other U.S. officials and intelligence agents.
He made the statement on the back of Monday's joint press conference in Helsinki, which saw Russian President Vladimir Putin offer to let Special Counsel Mueller's team, which is probing alleged Russian meddling in the US election, into Russia to interrogate 12 Russian intelligence officials charged with hacking Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign.
As part of a quid pro quo with Trump, Vladimir Putin said he expected America to give Russia the right to question Bill Browder, who has allegedly never paid taxes on $1.5 billion earned in Russia and has donated $400 million to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign out of that money.
Browder, however, denied the accusations.
BREAKING: After Putin accused me at the Helsinki Summit of donating $400m to the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Russian General Prosecutor clarified that Putin should have said $400k. The real answer is I donated ZERO. Total amateur hour. https://t.co/xqxsglR7sj— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) 17 июля 2018 г.
Although Donald Trump called Putin's idea an "an incredible offer" back in Helsinki, later he told Fox News that "Robert Mueller’s people could go with them, but they probably won’t.”