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Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley Presses Trump to Call Out Putin Amid Silence After Navalny Death

February 17, 2024

By: Tara Suter
Online here

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley pressed former President Trump to call out Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of opposition leader Alexei Navalny's death, while arguing that his silence is "a problem."

"Anybody that can't call out a dictator, that's a problem," Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, said in the interview on CNN's "The Source" with anchor Kaitlan Collins.

"You know, he should be calling – not just calling Putin out for what happened to Nalvany, he should be calling Putin out for the fact that he's got Evan Gershkovich as a hostage," she continued, referring to The Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia for nearly a year. "He should be calling out Putin for invading Ukraine."

Her comments come after Navalny, 47, was found unresponsive by the Russian Federal Prison Service. He had been serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism in one of Russia's highest-security prisons in a remote area known for severe winters.

The opposition leader, who grew from a blogger to Putin's chief rival, is just the latest of the Russian president's critics to be found dead — which has sparked international concerns about whether the Kremlin was involved.

Haley, like many others, have accused Putin of orchestrating Navalny's death.

"Putin did this," she wrote Friday morning on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, in response to the news. "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'."

She echoed those claims Saturday, arguing Trump's praise of Putin has only "emboldened" him, including aggressive comments the former president has made about NATO. His harsh criticism of the treaty alliance centers on efforts to get NATO members to commit 2 percent of their GDP to defense spending — or else, he vowed to rescind protection and signaled he would "encourage" Russia to attack them.

"That means Donald Trump is siding with a thug who kills his political opponents," Haley said. "He's siding with someone who has made no bones about wanting to destroy America. He's siding with someone who arrests American journalists and holds them hostage."

Navalny's death was confirmed by his family Saturday, who said he was murdered, and they have pushed Russia to return his body.

President Biden also blamed Putin for his death Friday.

"Make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny's death. Putin is responsible," he said from the White House. "What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin's brutality. No one should be fooled."

The president had previously given a warning to Putin in a 2021 meeting in Geneva that there would be "devastating" consequences if Navalny were to die.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley Presses Trump to Call Out Putin Amid Silence After Navalny Death Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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