- Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reacted to the death of Alexei Navalny.
- Harris called it a “further sign of Putin’s brutality” while attending the Munich Security Conference on Friday.
- President Joe Biden previously said he warned Putin there would be “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in prison.
President Joe Biden previously said Russian President Vladimir Putin would face “devastating” consequences if opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in prison.
On Friday, Russian media announced that Navalny, 47, had died while serving time in a Siberian prison, something that has not been unilaterally confirmed by the US government.
The president did not immediately react to the news, but members of his administration and Democratic members of Congress attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin as he spoke about Navalny’s death.
Vice President Kamala Harris reacted to the reports while attending the Munich Security Conference. “If confirmed, this would be yet another sign of Putin’s brutality,” she said Friday. “Whatever story they tell, let’s be clear: Russia is responsible.”
“His death in a Russian prison and a man’s fixation and fear only underscore the weakness and rot at the heart of the system Putin has built,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Russia is responsible for this.”
Vice President Kamala Harris reacted to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during an appearance Friday at the Munich Security Conference.
A photograph of Alexei Navalny from 2021. Navalny’s death has not yet been verified by the US government, but White House officials and Democratic members of Congress are already reacting.
President Joe Biden (R) said he told Russian President Vladimir (L) during their meeting in June 2021 that there would be “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in prison.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was being interviewed on NPR Friday morning when the news broke.
“If confirmed, it will be a terrible tragedy. And given the Russian government’s long, sordid history of harming its opponents, it raises real and obvious questions about what happened here,” Sullivan said.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner posted on X Firiday that “Alexei Navalny’s death is another heartbreaking reminder of who Vladimir Putin is: a bloodthirsty tyrant who thinks he can get away with anything.”
“It’s another reason we must continue to support the cause of freedom in opposition to Putin’s brutality,” the Virginia Democrat said.
Representative Eric Swalwell reacted by also attacking Republicans.
“Putin assassinates Navalny the same week Donald Trump invites Russia to invade Europe and MAGA Mike Johnson blocks aid to Ukraine,” the California Democrat said. “This is not a coincidence, it is the green light that has been given to Putin.”
Former President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee, raised eyebrows when he told a rally Saturday that he had told NATO leaders during his presidency that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever it wants” to members who did not. . Not paying enough money to the alliance.
Additionally, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has so far refused to bring to the House floor a Senate-approved supplemental spending bill that would provide additional funding to Ukraine.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., echoed Swalwell’s comments about Trump in an X post about Navalny.
“Mass murderer war criminal Vladimir Putin has murdered one of his bravest critics,” Pascrell wrote Friday morning. “Remember that Donald Trump has openly encouraged Putin to attack America’s allies and Republicans are blocking aid to Ukraine.”
At a press conference held in June 2021 after Biden met Putin at a summit in Geneva, the president was asked what he told Putin would happen if Navalny died in prison.
The opposition leader, 47, was serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges.
“I made it clear to him that I think the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia,” Biden said at the time.