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Biden: The Death of Aleksey Navalny

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President Biden spoke about the death of Aleksey Navalny.

Biden was Monday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“I wanted to say a few things this morning about Aleksey Navalny.

You know, like millions of people around the world, I am literally both not surprised and outraged by the news — the reported death of Aleksey Navalny.

He bravely stood up to the corruption, the violence, and the — the — all the — all the bad things that the Putin government was doing.

In response, Putin had him poisoned. He had him arrested. He had him prosecuted for fabricated crimes. He sentenced him to prison. He was held in isolation. Even all that didn’t stop him from calling out Putin’s lies. Even in prison, he was a powerful voice of the truth, which is kind of amazing when you think about it.

And he could have lived safely in exile after the assassination attempt on him in 2020 — which nearly killed him, I might add. And — but he — he was traveling outside the country at the time. Instead, he returned to Russia. He returned to Russia knowing he’d likely be imprisoned or even killed if he continued his work. But he did it anyway, because he believed so deeply in his country — in Russia.

Reports of his death, if they’re true — and I have no reason to believe they’re not — Russian authorities are going to tell their own story. But make no mistake — make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Putin is responsible.

What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality. No one should be fooled — not in Russia, not at home, not anywhere in the world. Putin does not only target his [the] citizens of other countries, as we’ve seen what’s going on in Ukraine right now, he also inflicts terrible crimes on his own people.

And as people across Russia and around the world are mourning Navalny today because he was so many things that Putin was not: He was brave. He was principled. He was dedicated to building a Russia where the rule of law existed and of — where it applied to everybody. Navalny believed in that Russia — that Russia. He knew it was a cause worth fighting for and, obviously, even dying for.

This tragedy reminds us of the stakes of this moment. We have to provide the funding so Ukraine can keep defending itself against Putin’s vicious onslaughts and war crimes.

You know, there was a bipartisan Senate vote that passed overwhelmingly in the United States Senate to fund Ukraine.

Now, as I’ve said before, and I mean this in the literal sense: History is watching. History is watching the House of Representatives. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten. It’s going to go down in the pages of history. It really is. It’s consequential.

And the clock is ticking. And this has to happen. We have to help now. You know, we have to realize what we’re dealing with with Putin.

All of us should reject the dangerous statements made by the previous president that invited Russia to invade our NATO Allies if they weren’t paying up. He said if an Ally did not pay their dues, he’d encourage Russia to, quote, “Do whatever the hell they want.”

I — let me — I guess I should clear my mind here a little bit and not say what I’m really thinking.

But let me be clear: This is an outrageous thing for a president to say. I can’t fathom. I can’t fathom. From Truman on, they’re rolling over in their graves hearing this.

As long as I’m President, America stands by our sacred commitment to our NATO Allies as they have stood by their commitments to us repeatedly.

Putin and the whole world should know: If any adversary were to attack us, our NATO Allies would back us. And if Putin were to attack a NATO Ally, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory. Now is the time for even greater unity among our NATO Allies to stand up to the threat that Putin’s Russia poses.

You know, I send my deepest condolences to Aleksey’s staff and supporters who are going to continue his work despite this loss, despite all of Putin’s desperate attempts to stamp out the opposition.

And most of all, to his family, especially to his wife, his daughter, and his son, who have already sacrificed so much for their family and a shared dream for a better future for Russia.

So, I just want to say God bless Aleksey Navalny. His courage will not be forgotten. And I’m sure it will not be the only courage we see coming out of Russia in the near term.

Thank you. I’ll be happy to take a couple questions.

Q Sir, first, was this an assassination?

THE PRESIDENT: The answer is, I — we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his — and his thugs did.

Q And to be clear, you warned Vladimir Putin when you were in Geneva of “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in Russian custody. What consequences should he and Russia face?

THE PRESIDENT: That was three years ago. In the meantime, they faced a hell of a lot of consequences. They’ve lost and/or had wounded over 350,000 Russian soldiers. They’ve made it into a position where they’ve been subjected to great sanctions across the board. And we’re contemplating what else could be done.

But the — the — what we were talking about at the time there were no actions being taken against Russia. And that — look at all that’s transpired since then.

Q Can you say whether you’re —

Q How do you think this —

Q — whether you’re looking at increasing sanctions on Russia right now?

THE PRESIDENT: We’re looking at a whole number of options. That’s all I’ll say right now.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.