Trump talks about own legal problems in social media post about Navalny

19 February 2024, 20:14

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Michigan
Election 2024 Trump. Picture: PA

Donald Trump made no mention of Vladimir Putin or Alexei Navalny’s family in the post but instead cast himself as a victim.

More than 72 hours after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death in an Arctic penal colony, former US president Donald Trump mentioned him by name for the first time in a post on his social media site that focused not on Mr Navalny, but his own legal woes.

US President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 47-year-old’s death, responding with anger and demands for answers.

But Mr Trump made no mention of Mr Putin or Mr Navalny’s family in the post on Monday morning but instead cast himself as a victim and continued to paint the US as a nation in decline.

“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country,” he wrote.

Flowers and candles are laid around a photo of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally to commemorate him, at Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio city council square
Flowers and candles are laid around a photo of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally to commemorate him in Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio city council square (Andrew Medichini/AP)

“It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction. Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions are DESTROYING AMERICA. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE, A FAILING NATION! MAGA2024.”

A New York judge on Friday ordered Mr Trump to pay 355 million dollars (£281.8 million) in penalties in a civil fraud trial, finding the former president had inflated his wealth for years, scheming to dupe banks, insurers and others.

Mr Trump has also been criminally charged in four separate investigations, the first of which is scheduled to go to trial next month.

Mr Trump’s post drew immediate denunciation from his rivals, including Nikki Haley, his last remaining challenger in the Republican nominating contest, who has been stepping up her criticism of the former president heading into Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

“Donald Trump could have condemned Vladimir Putin for being a murderous thug,” she wrote.

“Trump could have praised Navalny’s courage.”

Instead, “he stole a page from liberals’ playbook, denouncing America and comparing our country to Russia”.

On Monday morning in Sumter, she further accused Mr Trump of “siding with a thug” in Mr Putin, whom she called “a dictator who killed his political opponents”.

Mr Biden’s campaign posted on X, formerly Twitter, that after days of silence, Mr Trump finally responded by comparing Mr Navalny to himself in a “deranged social media post”.

Mr Trump has been criticised for nearly a decade now for his refusal to denounce the Russian leader and his frequent complimentary statements.

As president, Mr Trump drew outrage when he openly questioned his own intelligence agencies’ finding that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election to help him win, seeming to accept Mr Putin’s insistence that Moscow’s hands were clean.

This month he again caused an uproar when he said he once warned a Nato ally that he “would encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to countries in the alliance that do not spend enough on defence.

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, at the European Council building in Brussels
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, at the European Council building in Brussels (Yves Herman, Pool Photo via AP)

Mr Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, has accused Mr Putin of killing her husband in a remote prison and refusing to turn over his body as part of a cover-up.

Russian authorities have said Mr Navalny’s cause of death on Friday is still unknown and is the subject of a new investigation.

Its findings are likely to be met with deep scepticism.

Mr Trump’s reference to Mr Navalny’s “sudden death” was notable.

Prison officials allegedly told Mr Navalny’s mother when she arrived at the penal colony on Saturday that her son had perished from “sudden death syndrome”, Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Mr Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on X.

Mr Navalny had been imprisoned since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recuperating from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Pointe performance

Ballerinas set world record at New York’s Plaza Hotel

OJ Simpson in 1994

OJ Simpson has been cremated, says lawyer handling his estate

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group in Tel Aviv, Israel

Netanyahu brushes off calls for restraint in response to Iran’s attack

A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

Boeing faces Senate scrutiny during back-to-back hearings on safety culture

Peel Police Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich speaks to the media at a news conference regarding an investigation into the theft of gold from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, in Brampton, Ontario,

Nine people facing charges over ‘largest gold heist in Canadian history’

Karol G during the 24th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Seville, Spain, in 2023

2024 Latin Grammys will return home to Miami after controversial move to Spain

La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy

Milan’s La Scala names new director of opera house after months of controversy

Russian soldiers take part in a military exercise in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

17 killed as Russian missiles slam into Ukrainian city

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and James Argent stranded in Dubai flash floods as they try to hitchhike in ankle-deep water

Malmo Arena

Protests and terror threat mean tight security at Eurovision Song Contest

A protester uses a loudhailer during a rally in Athens

Unions in Greece call widespread strikes, seeking return of bargaining rights

Some have claimed cloud seeding may be behind recent flooding in Dubai.

Did controversial ‘cloud seeding’ flights cause torrential downpours and huge flooding in Dubai?

A homeless person sleeps near the Eiffel Tower

French police evict hundreds from abandoned Paris warehouse ahead of Olympics

People wade through floodwater in Peshawar

Death toll from four days of rain in Pakistan rises to 63

A Solomon Islander casts his vote

Solomon Islanders vote in election that will shape relations with China

A voter casts her ballot at a polling station in Zagreb

Croatia votes in election showdown between president and prime minister