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Putin says it's 'obvious' that Trump's conviction is the result of 'an internal political struggle' in the US

Kwan Wei Kevin Tan   

Putin says it's 'obvious' that Trump's conviction is the result of 'an internal political struggle' in the US
  • Vladimir Putin says he thinks Donald Trump's felony conviction was politically motivated.
  • Putin said Trump's rivals were "simply using the judicial system in an internal political struggle."

Former President Donald Trump's conviction in his Manhattan hush money criminal trial was due to his rivals' political machinations, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

"It is obvious all over the world that the prosecution of Trump, especially in court on charges that were formed on the basis of events that happened years ago, without direct proof, is simply using the judicial system in an internal political struggle," Putin told reporters at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, per Reuters.

"They are burning themselves from the inside, their state, their political system," he said.

Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels on May 30. The conviction made Trump the first former US president to become a felon.

But getting convicted might have become a blessing in disguise for The presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Trump's campaign said on Monday that they raised $53 million within a day of his guilty verdict.

"This shows that people of the United States have no trust in the justice system, which makes such decisions. On the contrary, they believe that these decisions were made for political reasons," Putin said on Wednesday, referencing the surge in donations to Trump's campaign, per the state-run Russian news agency TASS.

When asked about Putin's remarks, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign referenced the Russian leader's earlier expressed preference for a second Biden term.

"There's one candidate who Putin has endorsed— Crooked Joe Biden— because he knows a second Biden term means a weaker America," the spokesperson said in a statement to BI.

In February, Putin told Russian state media that Biden was his preferred candidate because he's "more experienced, more predictable."

"But we will work with any US leader whom the American people trust," he added.

Trump was quick to capitalize on Putin's remarks then, saying that it was actually "a great compliment" because it showed how he was a threat to Russia's interests.

"He doesn't want to have me. He wants Biden because he's going to be given everything he wants, including Ukraine," Trump said at a rally in South Carolina in February.

To be sure, Biden has stridently opposed Russia's war in Ukraine. Besides galvanizing US allies to support Ukraine, the Biden administration has sent around $51 billion in military assistance since the war began in February 2022.

On the other hand, Trump has been eager to flaunt his admiration and relationship with Putin. The former president once praised Putin's justification for invading Ukraine as a "genius" and "wonderful" move.

"As Putin said, 'You're the most vicious president ever. There's never been a president that did this to me.' And yet, I got along with him. Isn't that nice," Trump said in July.

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