Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "there is a substantial chance" the order to poison Alexei Navalny, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, came from senior Russian officials, while speaking with conservative commentator and personality Ben Shapiro on Wednesday.

What he's saying: "I think people all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is," Pompeo said on "The Ben Shapiro Show." "And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, and they recognize that there is a substantial chance that this actually came from senior Russian officials, I think this is not good for the Russian people. I think it’s not good for Russia."

  • "I think people see this and say this is not the way countries that want to be powers, that want to be important and play on the global stage, this is not the way that they should engage in activity. They ought to instead promote freedom and democracy."
  • "What the United States government will decide to do directly in response to this, I don’t want to get in front of the President."

Catch up quick: Navalny was responsive and no longer in a medically induced coma as of Monday, the New York Times reports. He was flown to a hospital in Berlin on Aug. 22 for treatment after the suspected poisoning, and he's the latest in a string of Kremlin critics to have been poisoned, though Russia denies that any crime took place.

  • German officials said they found the nerve agent Novichok in Navalny's system.
  • A bipartisan collection of lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on Trump Tuesday to investigate the alleged poisoning.

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