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Global reaction to Trump felony conviction is muted so far

Former President Donald Trump and his attorney Todd Blanche exit the courthouse and speak to reporters after Trump was found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. Trump has now become the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes.
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Pool/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump and his attorney Todd Blanche exit the courthouse and speak to reporters after Trump was found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. Trump has now become the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes.

LONDON — Global political reactions to the multiple-count conviction of former U.S. President Donald Trump have been muted, with many elected officials and leaders so far unwilling to comment on another country's judicial process.

As president, Trump often angered, flummoxed or frightened national leaders around the world with sudden policy changes or unexpected pronouncements, but his brand of nationalist politics has won supporters on the global stage — particularly in parts of Europe on the political right.

Matteo Salvini, the current deputy prime minister of Italy and leader of the right-wing Lega party, offered his "solidarity and full support" to Trump on X, formerly known as Twitter, soon after Trump's conviction on 34 counts in a Manhattan courtroom.

Salvini called the former U.S. leader and likely GOP presidential nominee a "victim of judicial harassment and a process of political nature," and said that Italians were "sadly familiar with the weaponization of the justice system by the left."

Matteo Salvini, Italy's deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Lega party, offered Trump "solidarity and full support" after the verdict on Thursday.
Gabriele Maricchiolo / NurPhoto via Getty Images
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NurPhoto via Getty Images
Matteo Salvini, Italy's deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Lega party, offered Trump "solidarity and full support" after the verdict on Thursday.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov characterized the verdict in a similar manner. "The fact that there is simply the elimination, in effect, of political rivals by all possible means, legal and illegal, is obvious," he said at a press briefing.

Another of Trump's close political allies in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, described the former U.S. president as a "man of honour"in a post on X. "As President, he always put America first, he commanded respect around the world and used this respect to build peace," Orban said.

Orban, who publicly endorsed Trump for the U.S. presidency in this year's vote, pointed out that American voters will "make their verdict this November."

It was a comment echoed by Mel Stride, one of the few government figures in the U.K. to have commented Friday morning on Trump's guilty verdicts.

"Ultimately the choice will be for the American people ... in November," said Stride, the Conservative party minister for work and pensions, when questioned by a British broadcaster. "They are clearly dramatic, very dramatic turn of events."

But he said he wished to follow a "long-held convention" that British officials do not interfere in another country's elections, just as he hoped U.S. politicians would not "start throwing comments in about our general election" that is taking place on July 4.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride arrives in Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting in London on May 14.
Wiktor Szymanowicz / Anadolu via Getty Images
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Anadolu via Getty Images
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride arrives in Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting in London on May 14.

U.K. Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, Britain's expected new prime minister and the former head of the country's prosecution service, said he respected the decision of an independent court, but said there was still a process involving an appeal to play out.

"We are in an unprecedented situation. There's no doubt about that," he told a local radio program in Scotland, but he said it was ultimately a decision for the American public, and "we would work with whoever they choose as their president."

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said he too would refrain from commenting on judicial procedures in other nations.

"We are closely monitoring related developments and will continue to gather information," said Hayashi, who serves as a kind of chief of staff and government spokesperson, and was previously Japan's foreign minister. "The Japanese government is not in a position to make comments with presumption about the impact on the presidential election."

Copyright 2024 NPR

Willem Marx
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
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