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Photo: Brendan Smailowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump denied there is any proof that Russia poisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a White House press conference on Friday, saying he would be "very angry if that is the case."

Why it matters: Trump, in his first public comments since Nalvany fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow, said: "I don't know exactly what happened." The German government announced this week that the poisoning was conducted with Novichok, a chemical typically associated with Russian security services.

What Trump's saying: "So, I don't know exactly what happened. I think that it is tragic. It is terrible. It should not happen. We have not had any proof yet, but we will take a look. ... I would be very angry if that is the case."

Instead of backing the German government's analysis of Nalvany's illness, Trump spoke of his relationship with other countries around the world and noted ongoing negotiations with Russia on a non-proliferation agreement.

  • "I get along with almost all countries," Trump said. "I get along with North Korea ... If Hillary got elected, we would be in a war right now with North Korea. ... We have a great peace deal in the Middle East with UAE and Israel."

The president questioned why reporters frequently ask him about Russia and requested more questions on China.

  • "It is interesting that everybody is always mentioning Russia," Trump said. "I don't mind you mentioning them, but China at this point is probably a nation that you should be talking about much more so than Russia, because the things that China is doing are far worse."

Go deeper

Trump’s playbook for planting suspicion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's effort to paint Joe Biden as corrupt — debunked by fact-checkers — fits a pattern of Trump's attacks on enemies: Raise deeply serious questions, regardless of what the facts say; hammer on those questions; never, ever seek finality.

Why it matters: Trump tries to plant seeds of suspicion and doubt, even if he doesn't actually prove a case. He incubates the attacks in perpetuity, rather than seeking an actual resolution. But in Biden's case, they've backfired in a way Trump couldn't have imagined.

29 mins ago - World

Biden huddles with European allies on Ukraine ahead of Putin call

Putin in the Kremlin. Photo: Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik via Getty

President Biden will seek to convince Russia's Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that the price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past.

Driving the news: Biden held a call on Ukraine this evening with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., while Secretary of State Tony Blinken called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to offer America's "unwavering support."

Justice Department closes Emmett Till murder probe

A faded photograph is attached to the headstone that marks the gravesite of Emmett Till in Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The family of Emmett Till announced Monday that the Department of Justice has formally closed its second investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.

Why it matters: The DOJ reopened the probe in 2018 after the white woman at the center of the case reportedly recanted her allegation that Till, a Black 14-year-old, sexually harassed her prior to his murder.