Once again, the Kremlin has used a favorite weapon – an agent from the Novichok class of chemicals – in an effort to silence a political opponent. The mode of attack leaves no doubt as to where the responsibility lies – the Russian state. This outrageous and brazen attempt on Mr. Navalny’s life is just the latest incident in a long history of murder and poisoning of dissidents, investigative journalists, anti-corruption activists, and opposition leaders under the Putin regime. It is the mark of a Russian regime that is so paranoid that it is unwilling to tolerate any criticism or dissent.
The Kremlin no doubt thinks that it can act with impunity. Donald Trump has refused to confront Putin, calling him a “terrific person.” He has said nothing about intelligence reports that Putin placed bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan. He has yet to condemn the attack on Mr. Navalny. His silence is complicity. Americans are less safe with Donald Trump in the White House.
As president, I will do what Donald Trump refuses to do: work with our allies and partners to hold the Putin regime accountable for its crimes.