IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Biden rebukes Trump over NATO remarks and failure to blame Putin for Navalny's death

The Biden administration is preparing to announce a major sanctions package on Friday to hold Russia accountable for Alexei Navalny's death.
Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.
Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Donald Trump's recent remarks on NATO "dangerous" and questioned the former president's failure not to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

In a video clip posted on the president's X account, Biden highlighted the importance of NATO's Article 5 agreement, saying that it's not only important to the U.S., but also to the rest of the world.

"The whole world knows if any adversary were to attack us, our NATO allies would have our back, and they know we would have their backs as well," Biden said.

"And that’s why what the former president has said is so dangerous," said Biden, who quoted Trump's recent comment saying that he would encourage Russia to "do whatever the hell they want" to NATO countries that don't pay their share of defense.

Biden said Trump's remark was "a statement heard around the world that does nothing but encourage bad behavior." The president then said he was appalled when he heard Trump hasn't blamed Putin for Navalny's death in prison last week.

"Instead, Trump said Navalny’s death made him realize how bad America is. He said, 'We are a nation in decline, a failing nation,'" Biden said. "Why does Trump always blame America? Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Why can’t Trump just say that? Putin is responsible."

To stand up to Putin, Biden said that the House must "act now" to pass the Senate-approved $95 billion emergency aid package that would provide desperately needed assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Trump's first public reaction to Navalny's death came on Monday, three days after Russia's prison service announced it. Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social that the Russian opposition leader's death "has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country," and he appeared to compare it to his own legal woes.

The former president made a similar comment during a Fox News town hall Tuesday night and suggested that Navalny shouldn't have returned to Russia after he was poisoned in 2020.

“He was a very brave guy because he went back. He could have stayed away, and frankly, probably would have been a lot better off staying away and talking from outside of the country as opposed to having to go back in because people thought that could happen, and it did happen,” Trump said.

The Biden administration is preparing to unveil major sanctions on Friday to hold Russia responsible for Navalny's death.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday that the death of Navalny, who he said had been "killed," and Russia's capture of a town in eastern Ukraine over the weekend exemplify why Congress must pass the aid bill.

"These two events are a reminder of just how high the stakes are and why we need Congress to stand up to Putin and take urgent action on this National Security Supplemental bill," he said.