Trump Breaks Silence on Navalny Death, Avoids Condemning Putin

Trump Breaks Silence on Navalny Death, Avoids Condemning Putin

Former US President Donald Trump broke his silence on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but his response was cryptic and avoided condemning Moscow or President Vladimir Putin, according to CNN. Trump drew comparisons between Navalny's death and his own alleged "political persecution," but made no direct accusations against Russia or Putin.

Trump's comments come as many question how he would approach Russia in a potential second term, especially given his previous statements indicating he would encourage the country to invade a NATO ally that was not spending enough on defense. Notably, Trump faces numerous criminal charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Trump's lack of a direct response to Navalny's death has drawn criticism from some, including former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who has repeatedly called out Trump for avoiding addressing the issue. Haley has labeled Navalny a "hero" and blamed Putin for his death.

In contrast, Western leaders, including President Joe Biden, have swiftly condemned Putin and blamed him for Navalny's death. Biden stated that the incident "is yet more proof of Putin's brutality."

During his previous presidential tenure, Trump declined to join other world leaders in condemning Russia after Navalny was allegedly poisoned in 2020. Trump has consistently expressed fondness for Putin and even sided with him over Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, which was a departure from the US intelligence community's findings.