Stephanopoulos asked Trump about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. Politkovskaya was a prominent investigative journalist for Novaya Gazeta known for her opposition to Putin. Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment building. Five men were sentenced in connection with the killing, but The New York Times reportedat the time that it was not clear who ordered the murder.
The Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Press Institute have both slammed Putin in the past for suppressing dissent. According to Reporters Without Borders, 29 journalists have been killed with impunity under Putin’s rule.
“He’s always denied it. He’s never — it’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody. So, you know, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters,” Trump told Stephanopoulos.