Trump compares the criminal proceedings against him to the persecution of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny


Donald Trump again compared on Tuesday the criminal charges against him with the circumstances of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the main political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who died in a remote Arctic prison after being imprisoned by the Kremlin.

During a forum organized by Fox News Channel before a live audience in Greenville, South Carolina, Trump lamented Navalny's death, which Biden and other Western governments blame on Putin.

Later, Trump shifted the conversation to himself and reiterated his statements that the criminal proceedings he faces are politically motivated, despite no evidence suggesting they were ordered by Biden or the White House.

"Navalny's situation is very sad, and he's very brave, he was a very brave guy," Trump said in response to a question from Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham. "He came back; he could have stayed away, and frankly, probably, it might have been better to stay away and speak from outside the country rather than coming back because there were those who believed that could happen, and that's what happened."

"And it's a terrible thing, but it also happens in our country," continued the Republican, suggesting that the criminal charges against him (including two cases related to his attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat) are evidence that the United States is "becoming a communist country in many ways."

"I've been charged on four different occasions, all because I'm in politics," he said. "I've been charged with things that are ridiculous."

He extended the comparison to the judgment against him last week in a civil fraud case, where a New York judge ordered Trump to pay $355 million in penalties after determining that he had lied about his wealth for years.

"It's a form of Navalny," he emphasized. "It's a form of communism, of fascism." He did not offer a clear answer when asked if he would post bond for the value of the judgment, a requirement for an appeal.