President Biden discusses the death of Navalny, Russian weapons threat

Following the reported death of Russian activist Alexei Navalny Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said he held Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did,” President Biden told reporters.

In wide-ranging comments at the White House, President Biden discussed the death of Navalny, implications for Russia’s war with Ukraine and news of a developing Russian anti-satellite weapon.

President Biden called out the U.S. House of Representatives, which has yet to take up a new bill that would help fund and arm Ukraine. The Senate has passed the bill, but the House has now gone on a two-week recess that President Biden says is eroding global trust in the U.S. as an ally.

“The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten,” President Biden said. “And the clock is ticking. This has to happen. We have to help now.”

President Biden also sought to reassure the public about a Russian anti-satellite weapon, knowledge of which was first disclosed in cryptic warnings from lawmakers on Wednesday.

“There is no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world with what Russia’s doing at the moment,” President Biden said.

The U.S. is in the process of declassifying more information about the weapon, the White House says.

A U.S. official traveling with Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he had discussed the weapon with other leaders during the Munich Security Conference in Germany, where he “emphasized that the pursuit of this capability should be a matter of concern.”