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Vladimir Putin may not want Donald Trump in White House, professor says

Is Putin engineering a win for Trump?

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be taking advantage of an opportunity in U.S. politics, but he may not necessarily want Donald Trump in the White House, international affairs professor Nina Khrushcheva said Tuesday.

"Putin didn't create Trump. He may be using this as a possibility, because Trump really wants to be friends with Putin. Putin is a former KGB man, why wouldn't he use this or even pretend … that he uses it as an opportunity," she said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"But actually I am not sure that he is more willing to have Trump than Hillary Clinton, because Hillary Clinton he knows how to deal with."

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

Trump is another story, said Khrushcheva, also an associate dean at The New School.

"With Trump, tomorrow they will argue over who is taller and more important and what not and then all this wonderful 'we are going to be such a great relationship with Russia' actually will end up in the Cuban missile crisis."

Russia has been accused of hacking Democratic National Committee emails in an attempt to influence the election. Last week, Putin called the cyberattack a public service but denied Russia was involved.

"The important thing is the content that was given to the public," he said in an interview with Bloomberg published Friday.

Khrushcheva said the accusations have made the "frozen peace" between the two nations "more dangerous."

And she doesn't know if the U.S. even wants to fix the relationship, because she believes Russia is a convenient punching bag.

"In some ways, whatever Putin and Russia's problems are, the United States wants to have Russia as such a wonderfully convenient big, scary enemy, because it serves purposes of many, many layers of American society."

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.