Trump Says Russia Likely to Blame for Poisoning Ex-Spy in U.K.

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said Russia was likely behind the poisoning of a former spy in U.K. that threatens to further strain relations between Vladimir Putin’s government and the West.

“Sounds to me like it would be Russia” based on the evidence that has emerged, Trump said about the attack as he left the White House Tuesday morning.

In a dramatic statement to Parliament, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accused Russia of poisoning ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia last week with a “military grade” nerve agent known as “Novichok” that was developed in the former Soviet Union. She gave Putin until midnight Tuesday to respond to the charges or face retaliation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday that the accusation “is all nonsense, we’ve got nothing to do with this.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders offered U.S. support for the U.K. investigation into the attack on Monday but notably didn’t blame Russia. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Monday that Russia was responsible and called the country an “irresponsible force of instability in the world.” Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday.

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