ABC reporter Rachel Scott presses Putin on dead, imprisoned opponents in viral clip
Putin did not answer the question posed by Scott directly but instead diverted to comments in regards to Black Lives Matter and the January attack on the United States Capitol
On Wednesday, ABC News reporter Rachel Scott had a simple question for Russian President Vladimir Putin: “What are you so afraid of?”
The Russian leader met with President Joe Biden earlier in the day in Geneva but sat for a news conference afterward during which Scott questioned Putin about the suspicious fates that seem to follow his political opponents.
“The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long … and you have now prevented anyone who supports [Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny] to run for office,” said Scott. “So my question is, Mr. President, what are you so afraid of?”
Putin did not answer the question directly but instead diverted to comments in regards to Black Lives Matter and the January attack on the United States Capitol.
He claimed “disorder” and “destruction” plagued the United States after the death of George Floyd whom he did not mention by name. He added that he felt “sympathy” for the United States and hopes the circumstances do not arise again.
He also mentioned Navalny’s organization was an “extremist” group and pushes “mass disorder.”
The international community is concerned about anti-corruption activist Navalny who had been imprisoned since earlier this year for violating the probation terms of a 2014 case. As he sits in jail, his health is declining.
When President Biden spoke to Putin earlier in the day, he said Navalny’s death would “be another indication that Russia has little or no intention of abiding by basic fundamental human rights.”
But Scott was not distracted by Putin’s rhetoric and followed up with “You didn’t answer my question, sir.”
“If all your political opponents are dead, in prison, poisoned – doesn’t that send a message that you don’t want a fair political fight?” said Scott.
“As for who is killing whom and throwing whom in jail, people came to the US Congress with political demands,” Putin said. “They face prison sentences of up to 20, maybe even 25 years.”
He compared the Capitol riots to his imprisoned political opponents.
“They are being called ‘domestic terrorists.’ They are being accused of a number of other crimes,” he continued.
Social media applauded Scott for her effort.
“ABC’s @rachelvscott with the strong follow-up to Putin: “You didn’t answer my question, sir. If all of your political opponents are dead, in prison, or poisoned, doesn’t that send a message that you don’t want a fair political fight?” Putin deflects, doesn’t answer directly,” tweeted out Geoff Bennett, a White House correspondent for NBC News.
“WOW @rachelvscott is an absolute rockstar. So incredibly impressed to see her shining on the world stage & speaking truth to power!,” tweeted another user.
Scott is the congressional correspondent reporting from Capitol Hill across all ABC News programs and platforms. She started with the network in 2016 as a production associate for ABC News Live.
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