President Donald J. Trump commented about the poisoning of an ex Russian spy in the United Kingdom, saying Thursday that it “certainly looks” as if Moscow had some involvement in the incident.
The president was referring to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who both remain in the hospital in critical condition after they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent in Britain.
Earlier Thursday the U.S. joined with the Britain, Germany, and France in issuing a joint statement accusing Russia of using a military-grade nerve agent to carry out the attack.
Although the Russians have denied any involvement in the poisonings, May, Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “there is no plausible alternative explanation” to Russian responsibility for the poisoning.
The Hill reports: The poisonings have caused heightened tensions between the U.K. and Russia. May announced on Wednesday that she had expelled 23 Russian diplomats believed to be Russian spies.
She also condemned what she said was Russia’s contemptuous response to allegations that Moscow deployed a chemical weapon in Europe.
The nerve agent used to poison the Skripals, called Novichok, was developed by the Soviet Union in the final years of the Cold War.
“This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War,” the joint statement said.
The leaders called the poisoning “an assault on U.K. sovereignty” and “a breach of international law.”
Speaking during a presser with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (see below), Trump told reporters: “I spoke with [British Prime Minister Theresa May] and we are in deep discussions — a very sad situation. It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it.”
“Something that should never, ever happen, and we’re taking it very seriously,” Trump added.
Pres. Trump on whether Russia was responsible for nerve agent attack in the UK: “It looks like it…it certainly looks like the Russians were behind it.” https://t.co/JarM9cp10E pic.twitter.com/FhHCu7FFI9
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 15, 2018