Prominent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead
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Bill Browder, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Thursday said that if President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE turns him over to the Russian government he will be handing him over to his death. 

"To hand me over to Putin is basically to hand me over to my death," Browder said while appearing on CNN’s "At This Hour." 

Putin mentioned Browder by name during a press conference with the president on Monday, where the Russian leader said that the Kremlin would permit special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to travel to Russia and question 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted in the Russia probe so long as Russia is allowed to interrogate some people “who have something to do with illegal actions in the territory of Russia.” 


The Russian leader alleged without evidence that Browder, an American-born financier, illegally transferred $1.5 billion out of Russia and had funneled $400 million toward Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Russian prosecutor’s office later corrected that figure to $400,000.

Browder, who also lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia, has since denied the allegations and contended on Thursday that he is "Putin's No. 1 foreign enemy."

"What the Russians have said very clearly on a number of occasions is they'd like to get me back to Russia ... and once I'm back in Russia, they would like to kill me. Anything that begins that process is effectively a death sentence for me," Browder said.

However, Browder said he doesn’t believe the US will go in on a “dirty deal” with Putin. 

"The United States has very clear laws in relation to mutual legal assistance with Russia, in relation to extradition with Russia and various other things," he said.

"You have agencies that operate on those laws, and I don't think that there are going to be people who work in the apparatus of the law enforcement agencies of the United States that are going to be going along with a dirty deal with Putin."

The White House backed away from Putin's proposal on Thursday after initially indicating that Trump would consider the move.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt."

The White House response came after almost 24 hours of criticism from Democrats, Republicans and former diplomats that added to the hailstorm of criticism Trump has received over his meeting with Putin in Helsinki earlier this week.

The Senate approved a resolution by a 98-0 vote warning the president not to let the Russian government question diplomats and other officials, shortly after the White House statement.