- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

President Trump said Tuesday that he was prepared to condemn Russia for the poisoning of a ex-British spy in the U.K., but he still wanted to have all the facts.

A day earlier, the White House resisted blaming Russia for the attack despite British Prime Minister Theresa May saying it was “highly likely” that Moscow was behind the assassination attempt.

“It sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have. I don’t know if they have come to a conclusion,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday.

The president said that he planed to speak later in the day with Mrs. May.

“As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be,” Mr. Trump told reporters Tuesday.

Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Scribal, 33, were found collapsed on a city bench March 4 in Salisbury, England. They had been exposed to a military-grade nerve agents known as Novichok, according to British authorities.

Mr. Skripal and his daughter remain in a critical but stable condition in the hospital.

In 2004, Mr Skripal was convicted by the Russian government of spying for MI6. He was released to the U.K. in a spy swap in 2010.

The White House resistance to blaming Russia was the final split between Mr. Trump and former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose ouster was announced Monday.

Mr. Tillerson said that Russia was “clearly” behind the poisoning.


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