Nikki Haley assails Trump for silence on ‘hero’ Navalny’s death


By Hadriana Lowenkron and Alicia DiazBloomberg News (TNS)

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley assailed Donald Trump’s foreign policy, condemning the former president for his silence on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexander Navalny.

“Either he sides with Putin and thinks it’s cool that Putin killed one of his political opponents, or he just doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think it’s important to stand with the Russian people who believe Navalny was really talking for them.”

Haley, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, has targeted her former boss on foreign policy in recent days as she fights to stave off a defeat in her home state in the Feb. 24 Republican primary. Polls show Haley, Trump’s only remaining opponent for the GOP presidential nomination, trailing by double digits.

Haley blamed Navalny’s death on Russian President Vladimir Putin, joining accusations by other Western leaders including President Joe Biden. Russia’s prison service said Navalny fell sick at a maximum-security camp where he was imprisoned and medical staff were unable to revive him.

“You look at this hero, he was fighting corruption,” she said. “He was fighting what Putin does and what did Putin do? He killed him just like he does all his political opponents.”

Navalny, 47, was a leading voice against Putin, drawing his ire by investigations that exposed corruption at state companies and videos on the lavish lives of senior officials.

Haley has made her foreign policy chops a centerpiece of her presidential bid, vowing to get tough with China and other U.S. adversaries abroad. She has criticized Trump’s threats to NATO member countries that fall short of defense-spending commitments and his obstruction of further US aid to Ukraine.

Her views make her an outlier in her party, where the base has largely embraced Trump’s more isolationist views. But it could bolster her among Democrats and independent voters.

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