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Liz Cheney warns of Republican Party ‘Putin wing’ after Donald Trump’s response to Alexei Navalny’s death

GOP former Rep. Liz Cheney has issued a warning about a Republican Party “Putin wing” after Donald Trump responded to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s death, failing to mention him or Vladimir Putin.

Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 21, 2022 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)(AP)

“We have to take seriously the extent to which you’ve now got a Putin wing of the Republican Party. I believe the issue this election cycle is making sure that the Putin wing of the Republican Party does not take over the West Wing of the White House,” Cheney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union.’

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In a post that was Trump’s official response to Navalny’s death, Trump did not say anything directly about the opposition leader’s demise. He posted several times about various topics including his criminal cases and his political opponents.

“When you think about Donald Trump, for example, pledging retribution, what Vladimir Putin did to Navalny is what retribution looks like in a country where a leader is not subject to the rule of law,” Cheney said on Sunday, February 18.

Earlier this month, Trump said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO member countries that do not meet spending guidelines. He also said he would refuse to offer US protection to any such country. This is a stance NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said “undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.”

“He’s basically made clear that under a Trump administration, the United States is unlikely to keep its NATO commitments,” Cheney said, adding that Trump’s remarks were “dangerous” and that they show “a complete lack of understanding of America’s role in the world.”

Cheney said she has yet to decide whether she will make a third-party run for president. However, she said that she is determined she would do “whatever is necessary to defeat Donald Trump.”

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