Donald Trump equates himself to Alexei Navalny, 'am also a victim of...' - Hindustan Times
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Donald Trump equates himself to Alexei Navalny, 'am also a victim of...'

Feb 21, 2024 11:49 AM IST

As Donald Trump faces a $355 million fraud ruling, he likens his situation to Alexei Navalny's and expresses concerns about the country's state.

Former President Donald Trump drew a parallel between himself and the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny on Tuesday night, saying that he faced the same kind of persecution as Navalny did from the Russian government.

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S. February 20, 2024. REUTERS/Sam Wolfe(REUTERS)
Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S. February 20, 2024. REUTERS/Sam Wolfe(REUTERS)

He made this remark during a town hall event hosted by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, where he said, “It’s a form of Navalny, it’s a form of communism or fascism.”

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Trump was referring to the recent verdict by New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who ruled that Trump and his company, The Trump Organization, committed fraud and ordered them to pay $355 million in damages.

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The former president has vowed to appeal the decision, but he will have to post a bond of nearly $400 million to the state of New York to do so.

“The guy’s a n*t job,” Trump said about Engoron.

Navalny, who was a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died last week at the age of 47 while serving a 19-year prison sentence for fraud and contempt of court. Many people, including President Joe Biden, have accused Putin’s regime of being behind Navalny’s death.

Trump expressed his sympathy for Navalny on his social media platform, Truth Social, on Monday and said that Navalny’s death “has made me more and more aware” of “crooked, radical left politicians, prosecutors, and judges leading us down a path to destruction.”

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The Facts Ingraham asked Trump to “expand” on his comparison of himself and Navalny during the town hall on Tuesday, noting that some of his “opponents” used his statement to portray him as “pro-Putin” and indifferent to “human rights or freedom.”

“Navalny was a very sad situation,” Trump said. “And he’s very brave, he was a very brave guy … But it’s happening in our country, too. We are turning into a communist country in many ways.”

“I got indicted four times, I have eight or nine trials, all because of the fact that I’m in politics,” he added.

“They indicted me on things that are so ridiculous.”

Trump did not mention Putin or blame him for Navalny’s death in his answer.

Besides the verdict by Engoron, Trump is also facing four criminal charges while running for re-election. He was also held liable for sexually assaulting and defaming former magazine writer E. Jean Carroll, who won a lawsuit against him and received $83.3 million in compensation last month.

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The Opinions Former New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin also likened Navalny’s death to Trump’s situation in a post on X (formerly Twitter), last week, writing that it was “worth remembering that Democrats are actively doing Biden’s bidding as they also try to imprison his chief political opponent, Donald Trump, remove him from the ballot, and ensure he dies in prison.”

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