Putin questions the death of Ashli Babbitt, accused U.S. of political prosecution of MAGA protestors

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Biden administration of the political prosecution of Trump supporters who took part in the Jan 6 Capitol Hill riot.

“Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? … They came there with political demands,” Putin said in response to a question he was asked about the jailing of his political opponent Alexei Navalny.

Putin deflected the question regarding his government imprisoning political dissenters and compared the jailing of Navalny to the hundreds of Trump supporters who were arrested, some remaining in prison, after the Justice Department arrested them in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.

Putin’s comments come after reports of extremely harsh treatment in the Washington D.C Central Detention Facility to some of the Jan. 6 suspects. “The DC Central Detention Facility has become Guantanamo Bay for American Citizens,” said a lawyer for one of the Jan. 6 rioters who remains behind bars. One of the prisoners was allegedly beaten so badly by guards that his jaw had to be wired shut and he may lose one of his eyeballs.

“We have a saying: ‘Don’t be mad at the mirror if you are ugly,’” Putin responded, according to the Daily Mail. “It has nothing to do with you personally. But if somebody blames us for something, what I say is, why don’t you look at yourselves? You will see yourselves in the mirror, not us.”

“You are presenting it as dissent and intolerance toward dissent in Russia. We view it completely differently,” Putin said in defense of Navalny’s imprisonment.

Putin also denied that his government was involved in the poisoning of Navalny with a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok, which he barely survived after fleeing to Germany to receive treatment. Upon arriving back in Russia, he was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

“We don’t have this kind of habit, of assassinating anybody,” he said, quickly pivoting to the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt by a Capitol Hill Police officer as she attempted to enter the House chamber. “Did you order the assassination of the woman who walked into the Congress and who was shot and killed by a policeman?” he asked.

The U.S. government has blamed Russian-based hackers for the ransomware attack which shut down the Colonial Pipeline last month. The hacking resulted in fuel shortages across the east coast and a rise in fuel prices nearly nationwide. When asked about recent cyberattacks, including one that targeted the meatpacking industry, Putin vehemently denied that Russia had anything to do with them.

“Where is the evidence? Where is proof? It’s becoming farcical,” Putin said. “We have been accused of all kinds of things – election interference, cyberattacks and so on and so forth – and not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof, just unfounded accusations.”

“Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different calibre and fierceness, and none of it surprises me,” Putin added.

Watch Putin’s interview with NBC News here:

President Biden commented on Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment and the ramifications if Navalny were to die in prison.

“Navalny’s death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic, fundamental human rights,” Biden said.