GOP Strategist Interprets The Real Message In Trump's Reaction To Navalny's Death

Conservative CNN commentator Alice Stewart says Donald Trump’s comments about the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demonstrate the former president’s fear of standing up to Vladimir Putin.

“Donald Trump’s statement here is stupid, it is self-serving, and it is wrong,” Stewart, who has advised multiple Republican political and presidential campaigns, said during a CNN panel discussion Monday.

“Navalny stood up to Putin,” she said. “And now, with his death, there is no mistaking, there is no question, that Vladimir Putin has blood on his hands.”

“We’re seeing bipartisan comments from people on both sides of the aisle here in Washington that’s saying he is a bloodthirsty tyrant, and this type of behavior should not be tolerated. There’s one person responsible — it’s Putin,” Stewart continued. “And for Donald Trump to fail to acknowledge that, that just goes to show that he is afraid to stand up to Putin.”

Following Navalny’s death in a Russian penal colony last week, various Western political figures, including U.S. President Joe Biden and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, have held the Russian president responsible.

On Monday, when Trump offered his belated reaction, he twisted the matter to refer to his own legal issues and did not mention Putin at all.

“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction.”

Trump repeatedly cozied up to Putin and other authoritarian leaders during his presidency while alienating U.S. allies.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also put Trump’s omission down to a fear of the Russian leader, suggesting on MSNBC Monday: “I don’t know what [Putin] has on him, but I think it’s probably financial.”

Haley tweeted that Trump failed to condemn Putin or praise Navalny’s courage, instead opting to steal “a page from liberals’ playbook, denouncing America and comparing our country to Russia.”

Meanwhile, right-wingers have been comparing Trump to Navalny, suggesting the criminally indicted former president is a victim of political persecution.