Former US President Donald Trump's unprecedented trial for falsifying business records shows the White House is "eliminating" its political rivals, the Kremlin said Friday.

Trump became the first former US head of state ever convicted of a crime on Thursday after a New York jury found him guilty of 34 felony charges in a hush money case.

"The fact that a de-facto elimination of political rivals by all possible legal and illegal means is going on there is obvious," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia, whose judiciary has been accused by rights groups and foreign governments of jailing dissidents, often criticises courts in Western countries.

Trump, who faces an election in November that could see him return to the White House, has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "smart guy".


The 77-year-old has vowed to end the Ukraine conflict "within 24 hours" if re-elected, a proposal that has drawn scepticism and alarm from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In February, Trump said he would "encourage" attacks on NATO allies that did not pay their fair share, prompting fierce criticism from the White House and even some of his own supporters.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter