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Alexei Navalny poisoning: ‘No doubt’ who’s responsible, Marco Rubio says

Acting Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Marco Rubio believes there is “no doubt” that Alexei Navalny, an outspoken Russian critic of Vladimir Putin, was poisoned.

Mr. Navany fell ill on Thursday after drinking that he suspected was poisoned while on a flight. He has since been placed in a Siberian hospital, where he is fighting for his life.

“Over the last 16 years over 30 Russian dissidents, defectors & political opponents of Putin have wound up poisoned, falling out of windows or victims of bombings,” the Florida Republican tweeted Friday. “So let [there] be no doubt who poisoned Navalny,” he added, alluding to a Putin-linked actor but stopped short of mentioning anyone by name.

Support from U.S. lawmakers for Mr. Navalny is growing as Western countries offer medical support for the opposition leader.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, took to Twitter Friday to express support and said the situation is “very sad.”

“It goes without saying that you oppose Putin at your own peril and people like Mr. Navalny are on the right side of history,” Mr. Graham tweeted Friday. “As always, the price for standing up for freedom comes at a heavy cost. “

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Eliot Engel, New York Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he is “closely” monitoring Mr. Navalny’s condition and praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for offering to provide medical assistance and support to Mr. Navalny and his family.

He called the gesture a “powerful display of international leadership,” and called on allies to “find and expose the truth and to hold those responsible to account.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has also offered medical assistance.

President Trump said Thursday his administration is “looking at” reports that Mr. Navalny was poisoned and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will report back to him.

“We haven’t seen it yet. We’re looking at it and Mike’s gonna be reporting to me soon,” he said.

Mr. Navalny, 44, is an anti-corruption advocate. He slammed Mr. Putin’s recent constitutional reforms that allow him to serve additional terms in office.

In recent years, other critics of Mr. Putin have fallen ill or died from suspected poisoning.

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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