Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump Defends Putin—And Not Because Putin Praised Him

Donald Trump Shrugs Off Allegation that Vladimir Putin
‘Probably Approved’ Assassination of Ex-KGB Agent
Guest Article by Colin Campbell

Business Insider
January 26, 2016
Posted January 28, 2016

Vladimir Putin (

Vladimir Putin (–

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump said in a new interview that it would be hasty to judge Vladimir Putin in the face of a British public inquiry’s allegation that the Russian president “probably approved” of a 2006 killing on British soil.

“Have they found him guilty? I don’t think they’ve found him guilty,” Trump said in a Tuesday interview with Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo. “They say a lot of things about me that are untrue, too.”

Last week, a retired judge in Britain issued a bombshell report on the 2006 death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who had become a foe of the Kremlin. Litvinenko was found poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope, and the report said Putin probably gave the go-ahead on the killing.

But Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, said Putin was innocent until proven guilty.

Donald Trump (

Donald Trump (–

“If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it,” Trump said. “You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Maria, in all fairness to Putin — and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’—the fact is that he hasn’t been convicted of anything.”

“Some people say he absolutely didn’t do it,” Trump added. “First of all, he says he didn’t do it. But many people say it wasn’t him. So who knows who did it?”

Trump previously defended Putin similarly from allegations that the Russian leader killed journalists.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that he killed anybody, in terms of reporters,” he said last month.

Trump has frequently touted Putin’s praising him as a leader, which the real-estate mogul called a “great honor.”


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