Trump Breaks Silence on Navalny Death, but Doesn’t Condemn Putin

Days after the death of the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny was first reported, Donald J. Trump broke his silence in a social media post on Monday that barely mentioned Mr. Navalny and that did not condemn President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Instead, he used Mr. Navalny’s death to suggest that his own legal battles amounted to political persecution.

It was a note he hit first on Sunday, when he shared screenshots of an opinion essay that compared his relationship with President Biden to the one between Mr. Navalny and Mr. Putin.

“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country,” the former president wrote on Truth Social on Monday, using an alternative spelling of Mr. Navalny’s given name. He pointed to what he called “CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction.”

But the winding social media post contained no reference to Mr. Putin, who has drawn widespread condemnation from politicians in the United States and abroad amid speculation that he or the Russian government had a hand in Mr. Navalny’s death. Instead, Mr. Trump cited “Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions” in casting the U.S., in all capital letters, as a “nation in decline, a failing nation.”

Mr. Trump, who has been indicted in four criminal cases and is facing 91 felony counts, was ordered on Friday to pay about $450 million, after a New York judge found in his civil fraud case that he had conspired to manipulate his net worth. He has repeatedly tried to blame Mr. Biden for his legal problems, though Mr. Biden has no purview over the cases.

Nikki Haley, Mr. Trump’s rival in the Republican presidential primary and his former ambassador to the United Nations, attacked him over his response.

Back to top button