Trump sees Navalny’s death as evidence of "decline" of the USA

Former US President Donald Trump has broken his days-long silence on the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny – but avoided any criticism of the Russian leadership in his statement. Rather, the likely candidate of the opposition Republicans in November’s presidential election viewed Navalny’s death on Monday as a sign that things were going downhill for the United States under President Joe Biden.

Navalny’s “sudden death” made it increasingly clear to him “what was happening in our country,” Trump wrote in his online network Truth Social. “We are a nation in decline, a failing nation!” complained the right-wing populist. “Deceptive, radical left-wing politicians, prosecutors and judges” led the country down “a path of destruction.” “Open borders, rigged elections and grossly unfair courtroom decisions are destroying America.”

Trump was referring, among other things, to his – often refuted – accusation that he lost the 2020 election to Biden due to fraud, and to the criminal charges against him. However, Trump did not explain what the connection was between the abuses he denounced in the USA and Navalny’s death.

Navalny died suddenly on Friday in a Russian prison camp in the Arctic Circle at the age of 47. While Biden has blamed Russian leader Vladimir Putin directly for the death of the prominent Kremlin critic, Trump did not mention possible Russian responsibility for the death in his online message.

His opponent in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Nikki Haley, had previously violently attacked Trump for his silence about Navalny. “Either he’s on Putin’s side and thinks it’s cool that Putin murdered one of his political opponents, or he just doesn’t think it’s that important,” Haley said on ABC television on Sunday. Both would be “worrying” and problematic, emphasized the former US ambassador to the UN.

On February 7th, Trump caused horror among Western allies with statements about NATO and Russia. During a campaign appearance, he said he would not come to the aid of NATO members in the event of a Russian attack if their defense spending was below NATO targets. Instead, he would encourage Russia to “do whatever it wants with them.”