Former President Donald J. Trump on Saturday invoked Vladimir V. Putin to support his case that the four criminal indictments he is facing are political payback, quoting the Russian president saying that the charges undercut the argument that the United States is an example of democracy for the world.
Mr. Trump made the comment during a campaign speech in Durham, N.H., in which he focused on pocketbook concerns of voters, hammered the state’s Republican governor, who endorsed one of his rivals, mocked his lower-polling competitors for not performing better and painted a dystopian vision of a country in “hell” under his successor, President Biden.
“Even Vladimir Putin says that Biden’s — and this is a quote — politically motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia, because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Mr. Trump said as he railed against the 91 criminal charges he is facing, citing Mr. Putin speaking in September.
Mr. Trump added: “So, you know, we talk about democracy, but the whole world is watching the persecution of a political opponent that’s kicking his ass. It’s an amazing thing. And they’re all laughing at us.”
There is no evidence that Mr. Biden has meddled in the prosecutions of Mr. Trump, which are taking place in four different federal and state courts and cover a range of issues, including his possession of reams of classified material after he left office and his efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 election.
And Mr. Biden’s Justice Department has twice indicted Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, on gun possession and tax charges. But Mr. Trump has continued to claim, without evidence, that all prosecutors — even the state prosecutors in New York and Georgia — are doing his successor’s bidding.
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