Last week, police in the United Kingdom raised the alarm that an ex-spy from Russia and his daughter, both of whom had been been living in the U.K., had been poisoned by a “nerve agent.” Suspicions immediately fell on Russia with Prime Minister Theresa May rebuking the country in an address before Parliament on Monday. The U.S. was much slower to condemn, though now-exiting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson broke rank before he was fired.
On Tuesday, President Trump cautiously suggested, with a healthy amount of hedging, that Russia could be to blame for the poisoning attack. Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump said the U.S would have to look into the matter:
“It sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have. It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia, and I would certainly take that finding as fact. As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.”
According to the UK authorities, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted with Novichok, a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union.
Since this attack probably can’t be blamed on 400-pound hackers in a basement somewhere, Trump might actually have to publicly say something bad about Vladimir Putin.