"Trump's absolute loyalty to Putin remains unwavering."
Critics on Tuesday slammed US President for making his inclinations towards his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin apparent after the former was quizzed regarding the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny back in August.
Navalny is known to be one of Putin's fiercest critics.
Navalny was poisoned with the same type of Soviet-era nerve agent that British authorities identified in a 2018 attack on a former Russian spy, the German government said Wednesday, citing new test results.
Dodging the question posed by White House reporter on Tuesday, Trump said: "uhhhhh" before adding "we’ll talk about that at another time."
I asked President Trump at the WH who he thinks poisoned Alexei Navaly. After an extended “uhhh,” he replied: “We’ll talk about that at another time."
— Michael Crowley (@michaelcrowley) September 21, 2020
Trump sidelining Navalny's poisoning question became a topic of discussion on Twitter, and the US chief was called Putin's "puppet" and his vague response raised eyebrows.
What does Putin have on Trump? #PutinsPuppet
— Republicans for Joe Biden (@RepsForBiden) September 22, 2020
Pathetic. Trump's absolute loyalty to Putin remains unwavering. https://t.co/vE9xJqwQzW
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 21, 2020
Trump is not allowed to criticize Putin. https://t.co/EA2d4HwoVB
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) September 21, 2020
Why is Trump so unwilling to confront Putin? https://t.co/6eDXsLIbxz
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 21, 2020
Trump’s consistent on only two matters:
He only cares about Trump.
He never will offend Putin. https://t.co/HkFoYkjoNq
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 22, 2020
That actually would be a great interview question for Trump: Tell me one thing you don’t like about Vladimir Putin. Or something about him that gives you pause or concern. Just one thing. https://t.co/08NoOplLpd
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 22, 2020
It's like Trump is Putin's personal publicist. https://t.co/QCOgo3osnO
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) September 21, 2020
Later on, while addressing Ohio crowd, Trump said: "I like Putin. He likes me."
After declining to tell reporters before his departure to Ohio who he thinks poisoned Navalny, Trump tells the Ohio crowd that although he's been tough on Russia, "At the same time, we get along. I like Putin, he likes me. You know, we get along."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 21, 2020
Previously, Former US Vice President Joe Biden had blamed the Russian government in the apparent involvement of Navalny's posioning.
Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared similar sentiments when she said that Russian opposition leader was the victim of attempted murder by poisoning and the aim was to silence him.
Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Aug 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing. He was transferred two days later to Berlins Charit hospital, where doctors last week said initial tests indicated Navalny had been poisoned.
Meanwhile, Navalny in an Instagram post said he was recovering his verbal and physical abilities.
Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than a week while being treated with an antidote. He said in a Saturday post on Instagram that once he was brought out of the coma, he was confused and couldn’t find the words to respond to a doctor’s questions.
"Although I understood in general what the doctor wanted, I did not understand where to get the words. In what part of the head do they appear in?" Navalny wrote in the post, which accompanied a photo of him on a staircase. "I also did not know how to express my despair and, therefore, simply kept silent."
"Now I'm a guy whose legs are shaking when he walks up the stairs, but he thinks: Oh, this is a staircase! They go up it. Perhaps we should look for an elevator, Navalny said. And before, I would have just stood there and stared."
(With agency inputs)