The former US ambassador to Russia has issued a stark warning about the direction of the Trump administration, comparing it to Vladimir Putin's leadership of Russia.

Michael McFaul was the ambassador between the two nations under the Obama administration between 2012 and 2014. He spoke out about the news that Trump was considering revoking broadcasting licenses for networks who air news that he deemed as "fake."

In a series of tweets, McFaul said: "You cannot claim to support the constitution, liberty & democracy and also support this statement.

"Time for all conservatives to choose. This is how dictatorships start --- exactly what Putin did in Russia in 2000.

"Kneeling for the anthem somehow insults American values but championing censorship does not? Complete hypocrisy."

McFaul's remarks came after Donald Trump issued a torrent of his own tweets on Wednesday (11 October), with the most controversial floating the idea of revoking the license of networks such as NBC.

He said: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!

"Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!"

These comments sparked outrage on social media and in the political sphere, with many pointing out that Trump was directly setting out to deconstruct the US first amendment which outlines freedom of speech.

Trump took aim at NBC after two stories in recent weeks took centre-stage in Washington. On Wednesday they reported that Trump wanted the US nuclear arsenal to be vastly expanded.

The other story was about the ongoing tensions between Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who allegedly, and has never personally denied, called the president a "f*****g moron."

Trump Putin
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images