Trump ‘needs Putin’s help and can’t risk angering him’, Liz Cheney suggests

Former House Republican Conference chair and ex-Wyoming Rep Liz Cheney has said that former President Donald Trump appears to believe that he’ll need the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin at some point.

Ms Cheney noted on X on Monday afternoon that “Donald Trump still won’t condemn the [Aleksei] Navalny killing or blame Putin. At the same time, Trump is claiming Putin-style tyrannical immunity in his US Supreme Court briefs”.

She added that it “seems like Trump thinks he needs Putin’s help with something and can’t risk angering him”.

On Monday morning, Mr Trump mentioned the death of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in a Siberian prison camp, but he didn’t mention Mr Putin.

“The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction. Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions are DESTROYING AMERICA. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE, A FAILING NATION! MAGA2024”

Ms Cheney, 57, was on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday warning of the Putin wing possibly coming back to the White House in the form of the former president.

She also criticized Mr Trump for his recent comments saying that he wouldn’t protect Nato countries who don’t pay their fair share, recounting how he told a fellow world leader that he would urge Russia to do “whatever the hell they want”.

“I think that we have to take Donald Trump very seriously,” Ms Cheney said on Sunday. “We have to take seriously the extent to which you have now got a Putin wing of the Republican Party.”

“I believe the issue this election cycle is making sure the Putin wing of the Republican Party does not take over the West Wing of the White House,” she added.

Speaking to anchor Jake Tapper, Ms Cheney said: “Donald Trump, as you pointed out, said just a few days ago that he had told a Nato ally that he would encourage Putin to do whatever he needed to do, whatever he wanted to do.”

“He’s basically made clear that under a Trump administration, the United States is unlikely to keep its Nato commitments. And I think that Republicans who understand the importance of the national security situation who continue to support him are similarly going to be held to account,” she added.

Calling Mr Trump’s comments on Nato “disgraceful”, Ms Cheney said, “I can’t imagine any other American president of either party since the establishment of Nato saying such a thing. And it’s completely uninformed and ignorant and dangerous”.

“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 the leader is not subject to the rule of law,” she noted.