Trump breaks silence on Navalny, casts no blame on Putin

Donald Trump made his first public comment on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a social media post, referencing his own legal troubles. The post appeared to link the death to Trump’s own political troubles, with open borders, rigged elections, and unfair courtroom decisions destroying America. Navalny, 47, fought against vast corruption in Putin’s Russia, ruled by “crooks and thieves.” Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

President Joe Biden and Trump’s main Republican rival, Nikki Haley, directly blamed Putin for Navalny’s death in a penal colony north of the Arctic Circle. The Kremlin has denied involvement in Navalny’s death and said Western claims that Putin was responsible were unacceptable.

Trump, the Republican candidate leading the race to challenge Biden in the November election, remained silent until Monday. During his 2017-2021 White House tenure, Trump expressed admiration for Putin but refused to blame him for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Haley, a former South Carolina governor, called Trump’s response unpatriotic and criticized him for comparing America to Russia. Republican former U.S. Representative Liz Cheney recalled Trump’s frequent promise to seek “retribution” against political opponents if he regains power.

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