Fox host compares civil fraud judgment against Trump to Russian opposition leader who was imprisoned and later exiled

Fox’s Brian Kilmeade suggests Trump's legal penalties are akin to persecution of Vladimir Putin’s political opponents

Video file

Citation From the March 19, 2024, edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): Donald Trump’s having trouble securing his $454 million bond, his legal team says. Almost impossible to come up with that money by next Monday, six days away. Brian, I’m saying there ain’t no justice for Trump in New York. What do you say?

BRIAN KILMEADE (FOX NEWS HOST): Absolutely. And I’ll tell you, it was brought up by a previous guest I had. This isn’t like [Alexei] Navalny, this is like [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky. Remember, he was the billionaire, multi-billionaire, who was making a ton of money in Russia. And Russia said, Vladimir Putin says, “Keep making that money, don’t run against me." He said, “You know what, I think I’m going to run against you.” Do you know what they did? They put him in jail, they took all his wealth. And after 10 years, they kicked him out of the country.

Isn’t this the same thing they’re doing? He’s going to run for president, Khodorkovsky probably could’ve won in Russia if they had a legitimate democracy. And now you have a guy that’s beating Joe Biden in every battleground state, so suddenly [New York Attorney General] Letitia James, a big-time Democrat who got elected by saying, “I’m going after Trump,” has a judgment against him that he over-inflated the values of his properties. At which time he loses, and they say, “You owe me $454 million in a bond while you wait for appeal.” There’s only 30 companies that do this, none of which said, “We’ll take collateral properties.” They all want cash, Stuart. Nobody’s got a billion dollars in cash laying around.

So now he’s appealing to say, “What about $100 million. Because I’m not going anywhere, you already have a monitor looking over my entire business, you’ve studied it for four years, you know where the money is, there’s no damage to the city while we wait for appeal.”

This is all punishment, unless you back off. And, I think that this does not hurt him politically at all, I think it helps him. But in the meantime, he’s clearly being attacked. And I think it’s a terrible precedent. For rich people in America, stay away from New York, especially if you’re not a Democrat.

VARNEY: This city is spiraling down. I don’t have much faith in the legal system like this.