Alexei Navalny has opened his US media campaign on Sunday with interviews on CBS Television and the New Yorker magazine. Wearing a new white shirt, he has also opened a new version of the attempted assassination.

In Navalny's fresh plot, he now says he was poisoned when he was putting on clothes in his hotel room in Tomsk, and then touched a water bottle. "We know that I was poisoned in the hotel because I — well, again, it's just a pure speculation because no one knows what happened exactly — but I think that when I was, er, maybe put some clothes with this poison on me, I touched it with the hand [left hand], and then I sipped from the bottle [right hand]. So this nerve agent was not inside of the bottle but on the bottle."

The evidence for the poisoning, Navalny insisted to CBS, can be found in the reports of the French and Swedish military laboratories. According to a partial release of the official report by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), "two blood samples were collected from the patient [Navalny] on the 5th of September 2020".

Litigation in a Stockholm court by Mats Nilsson is under way to compel publication of the full FOI report. The laboratory confirms it did not test Navalny's urine, skin samples, clothing, or the water bottle.

Navalny now claims to the New Yorker that the evidence of his poisoning can be found in the classified report of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), although it too has announced that it did not test the water bottle and did not identify Novichok. "I was poisoned with a different kind of Novichok. Even the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons classifies its reports, because no one wants to publish the formula."

According to the report of the OPCW, "the mission was restricted to the collection of biomedical samples from Mr Navalny. No other information was shared by the German authorities. On 6 September 2020, the TAV [technical assistance visit] team visited the Charité Hospital in Berlin... In line with OPCW procedures, blood and urine sampling was conducted by the hospital staff."

The only laboratory which did test the bottle, the German Army laboratory IPTB in Munich, has not been identified by Navalny in his new US media claims as a source of what happened to him. No testing of the clothes which Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, brought with the bottle to Berlin has been reported by any source. According to Navalnaya, she wrestled a suitcase of Navalny's clothes away from local police at Omsk airport to take it on board the charter flight to Berlin.

For the first time Navalny has revealed a diagnosis he says was discussed with his wife at the Omsk Hospital. "There were all these doctors at the hospital in Omsk wearing their white coats," he told New Yorker, "saying, 'Of course, he wasn't poisoned, of course, it's a case of pancreatitis.' It's hard to argue with that. They are doctors! And we are not. And Yulia and [assistant Leonid] Volkov both told me that even as they were making arrangements to have me airlifted to Germany, they were thinking, What if it is pancreatitis and tomorrow he comes to in Germany, furious?"

Navalny's interview with the Sixty Minutes programme of CBS was recorded in Berlin, before he and his wife left for the Black Forest resort of Ibach in Bavaria last week. CBS broadcast the interview on Sunday. Read a partial text and the full 13-minute video clip here.

CBS invited Navalny to take a shot at President Donald Trump. "Angela Merkel of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France have persuaded the European Union to impose sanctions over this," the CBS reporter Lesley Stahl said. "Well, all these leaders have signed on, except Donald Trump. And — Alexey Navalny: Yes, I- I have noticed it. (LAUGH). Lesley Stahl: Is it important to you that he condemn this action? Alexey Navalny: So, I think it's extremely important that everyone, of course, including and maybe in the first of all, president of United States, to be very against using chemical weapons in the 21st Century."

The studio interview was interrupted by an excursion CBS filmed of Navalny walking hand in hand with his wife in front of the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of the line where the Soviet and US armies divided Berlin at the end of the World War. The display of armed German police and security agents surrounding Navalny in front of the Gate was intended to show German force backing what CBS described as "the leader of the opposition in Russia". According to Stahl, he is "under the protection of the German Government because there is concern he could be the target of another poisoning. And yet he says he is determined to return to Moscow in a couple of months...and resume his work where he left off, campaigning against Vladimir Putin."

Comment: Navalny is not the leader of the opposition in Russia. He's a fringe figure who can barely pull in 2% support from Russians. Communists have more popularity.

In Navalny's interview with New Yorker he was confused in his recounting of what his first symptoms were on board his flight from Tomsk. He describes full consciousness but mental disorientation; no difficulty with breathing, no nausea, no foaming at the mouth, no paralysis, no pain. Navalny's self-reported symptoms correspond to no reported case of organophosphate or Novichok poisoning.

"The moment I knew that I'd been poisoned was the moment I realized my life was ending. What I was experiencing up until then was a kind of incomprehension. We can understand a heart attack or a stroke, but we cannot understand the effects of cholinesterase inhibitors — evolution does not prepare us for this. You are in this strange state of losing focus, and the strangeness keeps growing."

"On the airplane, I went to the bathroom and I realized that I would not be able to leave the bathroom on my own, and this was when I knew I'd been poisoned. It was so difficult to open the door. I could see the door, I could understand everything, and I was plenty physically strong enough — I would have been able to do pushups, if only, at that moment, I had been able to grasp the concept of pushups. I guess if I'd had sudden heart pain or abdominal pain, I would have realized even faster that I was dying, because this physical experience would have been familiar to me. But this was worse than pain."

Asked to explain why he had been recorded as moaning while in the aircraft lavatory, Navalny now says: "I don't remember those. I might have been hallucinating."