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Vindman: Trump’s NATO threat likely a ‘contributing factor’ in Navalny’s death

Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has claimed that former President Trump’s recent comments about NATO likely “contributed” to the death of Russian rebel leader Alexei Navalny.

“Donald Trump invited Vladimir Putin to attack NATO. I would say that was probably a contributing factor in the calculation regarding Mr. Navalny’s assassination.” Vindman told MSNBC’s Michael Steele on Friday.

Vindman’s comments came just a week after Navalny died in prison. The Biden administration has held the Russian government responsible for his death, but Russia says his cause of death was natural causes.

The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination has sparked international concern by saying he would encourage attacks on NATO members who fail to meet their defense spending commitments.

Vindman said Russia killed Navalny, who made a name for himself by opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a way to test the situation.

“This is a signal that Russia is ready to become more aggressive because it has a sense of impunity,” he said. “Why? Because not only is Mr. Trump the likely Republican nominee, he is also the leader of the Republican Party.”

“He gave marching orders to Speaker Johnson. He gave marching orders to this radical MAGA, the political organization that is now the Republican House of Representatives,” Vindman continued.

He claimed the House was “totally paralyzed” after Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) adjourned the House last week before voting on the Senate-passed Ukraine aid package. . On the second anniversary of the Kremlin invasion, Prime Minister Johnson has announced his opposition to a deal that would provide Ukraine with $60 billion in aid for its war against Russia.

Mr. Vindman, Mr. Trump’s first key impeachment witness, said his wife was worried that Mr. Trump would have to flee the country if he was reelected.

“What I’m trying to do is sound the alarm, and this should seem alarming to the American people. The MAGA threat, the Trump threat, is real,” he said. said. “If he takes the seat again in the distant future, in November or even January, that’s not a threat.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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