Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who was poisoned in August, called on President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE to condemn the nerve agent that the Kremlin is suspected of using on him.
“I think it’s extremely important that everyone, of course including and maybe first of all president of United States, to be very against using chemical weapons in the 21st century,” Navalny told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” in an interview that is set to air in full Sunday.
Navalny is believed to have been poisoned in Siberia in August when he drank tea laced with the nerve agent Novichok, which had been used previously in an attempted assassination of an ex-Russian spy in the United Kingdom that is also believed to have been ordered by Moscow.
The incident drew international condemnation, with Germany calling for the European Union to slap sanctions on Russia, but Trump has expressed skepticism that Navalny was in fact poisoned.
“We haven’t had any proof yet,” Trump said during a briefing at the White House last month. “I would be very angry if that’s the case, so we’ll take a look at the numbers and the documents because we’re going to be sent a lot of documents over the next few days.”
The Kremlin has denied being responsible for the poisoning, but Navalny has maintained Putin was trying to silence him to scare others who are considering opposing him.
“I think for Putin why he’s using this chemical weapon to do both, kill me and terrify others,” he said. “It’s something really scary where the people just drop dead. There are no gun, there are no shots, and in a couple of hours, you will be dead and without any traces on your body. It's something terrifying, and Putin is enjoying it.
“I don’t think. I’m sure that he’s responsible,” he added when asked about Putin’s involvement.