Haley holds Putin responsible for Navalny's death, questions Trump's silence - Hindustan Times

Nikki Haley holds Putin responsible for Navalny's death, questions Donald Trump's silence

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 18, 2024 03:09 PM IST

Nikki Haley dubbed Vladimir Putin critic Navalny "a hero", adding that he died at the hands of the Russian President, and that Trump must "answer to that."

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley questioned former president Donald Trump's silence over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump (REUTERS)
Nikki Haley and Donald Trump (REUTERS)

She denounced her 2024 Republican presidential primary opponent for his frequent praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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In a statement, Haley said that Trump “continues to side with Vladimir Putin—a man who kills his political opponents, holds American journalists hostage, and has never hidden his desire to destroy America”.

“Trump continues to side with Putin over our allies and our military service members,” she stressed.

Haley dubbed Putin critic Navalny "a hero", adding that he died at the hands of the Russian President, and that Trump must "answer to that."

Also Read: Alexei Navalny Death: Meghan McCain says "blood on Putin's hands"

The former UN ambassador, while speaking to reporters outside her rally at a park in Irmo, South Carolina, applauded Navalny for raising his voice against Putin for corruption and election meddling. She claimed he abandoned his nation only to return “to fight the good fight”, NY Times reported.

“And then he was arrested, and now Putin has done to him what Putin does to all of his opponents — he kills them. And Trump needs to answer to that. Does he think Putin killed him? Does he think Putin was right to kill him? And does he think Navalny was a hero?” she stated.

Addressing a new conference on Saturday, Haley asked Trump, “Why does he always side with dictators?”

Reacting on X (Twitter) after Navalny's death, she claimed that "Putin did this". “The same Putin who Donald Trump praises and defends. The same Trump who said: ‘In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that’.”

Trump stays mum on Navalny's death

Trump has not yet responded publicly to Navalny's death. On Saturday, he attacked US President Joe Biden, claiming in an online post that “I am the only one who can bring Peace, Prosperity, and Stability like I did during my first term. America will be respected and feared (if necessary!) again.”

Russian officials declared on Friday that Navalny, who was serving several sentences in Russia, had died in a prison inside the Arctic Circle. President Biden stated that while US officials did not have a complete knowledge of the facts, he believed that "there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did."

Also Read: ‘Make no mistake, Vladimir Putin…’: Joe Biden on Alexei Navalny's death

Trump, whose 2016 election win was aided by Russia's efforts to meddle in that year's election, according to the US Intelligence Community and a report issued by the then-Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, has long refused to speak out against Putin and, in some cases, has even praised the Russian dictator.

During his 2016 campaign, he told TV hosts that he "respects" Putin after learning that he murders journalists and opposition figures.

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