Putin says charges against Trump politically motivated

AFP , Wednesday 5 Jun 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday the business fraud charges against ex-US president Donald Trump were politically motivated and that his conviction "burned" the idea Washington was a leading democracy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and US President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, on
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and US President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. AFP

 

Trump became the first former US head of state ever convicted of a crime last week after a New York jury found him guilty of 34 felony charges in a hush-money case.

"It is obvious all over the world that the prosecution of Trump... is simply the utilisation of the judicial system during an internal political struggle," Putin told a televised meeting with representatives from foreign news outlets.

"Their supposed leadership in the sphere of democracy is being burned to the ground," Putin said.

Asked what a victory for either Trump or incumbent US President Joe Biden would mean for US-Russia relations, Putin said: "By and large there's no difference."

Trump, who faces an election in November that could see him return to the White House, has praised Putin as a "smart guy".

The 77-year-old has vowed to end the Ukraine conflict "within 24 hours" if re-elected, a proposal that has drawn scepticism and alarm from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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