Trump 'Very Thankful' to Putin for Expelling Hundreds of US Diplomatic Personnel

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US President Donald Trump added a new dimension on Thursday to the decades-old tradition of countries expelling diplomats and cutting mission staff to sanction the target nation.

The legislation also included sanctions on Iran and North Korea. These relationships would seriously impair Trump's willingness to impose the measures needed to protect our elections or to impede Russia's territorial expansion goals in eastern Europe.

The president's remarks are the first he has made in response to Putin's announcement late last month that Moscow will force the U.S.to cut 755 staff from its Russian embassies and consulates by September 1.

It is unclear if the U.S. would in fact save money, as the individuals remain State Department employees and many will be moved to other positions overseas.

At the time, the US State Department said the move was a "regrettable and uncalled for act".

But what if that meeting weren't the story of the Trump camp's ineptitude, but of Putin's cunning? Our president did today.

"To me", Hoffman says, "it pointed to a discoverable influence operation rather than some effort to establish a clandestine channel for collusion".

Burns had a response to that too: "A shameful statement by Pres. (president) Trump".

One senior Russian official described Trump's position on Russia as both sad and, in a way, funny.

"Donald Trump, at some point in his life, has insulted everybody around him in the harshest of terms, including his own children", Scarborough said.

The Kremlin does not express its exasperation with the Trump White House in public.

Asked about Putin's decision to expel Americans, Trump told reporters, "I want to thank him".

After Trump last week signed congressional legislation imposing new sanctions on Russian Federation, despite having himself criticized it, Putin said nothing.

The sanctions were applied on Russian Federation due, in part, to its alleged attempts to steer last year's presidential election in Trump's favor.

I interpret Medvedev's tweets, which were in English as well as Russian, as a mafia-style warning from Putin's consigliere, a 140-character horse's head in the president's bed to remind Trump of his obligations, whatever they may be.

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