On September 4th, US President Donald Trump refused to condemned Russia over the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
“We have to look at it very seriously. If that’s the case, and I think we will,” Trump said when asked how the US should react.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, I think it’s tragic. It’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet, but I will take a look,” he added.
He said that there hasn’t been any evidence yet, and he then deflected the question towards China.
He emphasized that media like to point their attention towards Russia about everything negative, but maybe Beijing deserved some attention, because China was doing things that were “far worse”.
“It is interesting that everybody is always mentioning Russia,” Trump said to a reporter when asked about the Navalny poisoning, “and I don’t mind you mentioning Russia, but I think probably China at this point is a nation that you should be talking about much more so than Russia, because the things that China is doing are far worse, if you take a look at what’s happening with the world.”
He, however, did say that if evidence pointed that Russia did it, that would be, obviously, bad.
Trump said he would “not be happy at all” if the Russian government poisoned Navalny.
He defended his administration’s stance toward Moscow, specifically citing the decision to provide anti-tank weapons to Ukraine to fight off Putin-backed separatists.
But he also noted, “I do get along with President Putin.”
Trump’s public reluctance to condemn Putin is especially notable as other members of his administration have been quite vocal on the alleged Navalny poisoning.
“The United States is deeply troubled by the results released today. Alexei Navalny’s poisoning is completely reprehensible. Russia has used the chemical nerve agent Novichok in the past,” National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot said. “We will work with allies and the international community to hold those in Russia accountable, wherever the evidence leads, and restrict funds for their malign activities.”
Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with the Russian Ambassador to the US Friday and expressed “grave concern” at the poisoning with a chemical nerve agent, the State Department said in a readout of the meeting.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the poisoning “clearly reprehensible.”
“Russia has used chemical nerve agents in the past, and we’re working with our allies and the international community to hold those in Russia accountable wherever the evidence leads and restrict funds for their malign activities,” she said.
Meanwhile, to urge people to vote, anti-Russian hysteria is on the rise, such as the billboard below that attempts to claim that if Donald Trump wins another round of presidential elections, Americans would have to learn Russian.
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