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Trump Refuses To Blame Putin For Navalny's Death In Cringey Word Salad Interview

When Fox's Howard Kurtz tried to pin down Donald Trump on whether Vladimir Putin was responsible for Alexi Navalny's death, he painfully danced around the question.

Screenshot of Donald Trump; Vladimir Putin
Fox News; Alexei Nikolsky/TASS/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump was criticized after he declined to directly blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the death of Alexei Navalny, the Russian lawyer and opposition leader who died in a prison camp last month.

In December 2023, Navalny disappeared from prison for nearly three weeks, only to resurface in an Arctic Circle corrective colony located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Last month, the Russian prison service announced Navalny's death at the age of 47.

Navalny's passing triggered widespread protests, both within Russia and in numerous other nations. Many Western governments and international organizations have leveled accusations against the Russian authorities regarding his demise.

When pressed by Fox News host Howard Kurtz about whether he held Putin responsible for Navalny's death, Trump responded:

“I don’t know, but perhaps, I mean possibly, I could say probably. I don’t know."
“He’s a young man, so statistically he’d be alive for a long time. If you go by the insurance numbers, he’d be alive for another 40 years. So something happened that was unusual.”
“I don’t know, you certainly can’t say for sure, but certainly that would look like something very bad happened, right?”

You can hear what he said in the video below.

Trump's remarks come a month after he was accused of making light of Navalny's death by comparing it to his own legal woes, calling a civil suit against him a “form of Navalny.”

His latest remarks have sparked even harsher criticism as many alleged he is once again siding with Putin's authoritarian regime.

Trump's interview coincided with the final day of voting in Russian elections, widely anticipated to secure another six-year term for Putin through a non-competitive process. At noon on Sunday, thousands of Russians converged on polling stations simultaneously in a collective protest against Putin's regime.

On Sunday night, Putin disclosed that a few days prior to Navalny's demise, he was informed by individuals external to his administration about a proposed exchange "for some people" detained in the West. He expressed immediate agreement under the condition that Navalny would not return, saying that "unfortunately, what happened, happened."

For years, Putin had always refused to speak Navalny's name because of the threat Navalny's protest movement posed to his administration. Navalny's chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, remarked that Putin's statements indicated that "now he has decided he doesn't need to pretend anymore."