Trump thanks Russia’s Putin for slashing U.S. diplomatic staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for slashing the collection of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia, “because now now we have a smaller payroll.”

“I want to thank him as a result of we’re trying to lower down our payroll and so far as I Am involved I Am very thankful that he let go of a large number of people,” Trump told newshounds at his golf membership in Bedminster, New Jersey. “There Isn’t A actual reason behind them to go back.”

Putin, reacting to new sanctions imposed through the U.S. Congress, on July 30 ordered Washington to cut 755 of its 1,200 embassy and consulate team of workers by using September. Many Of these affected are likely to be native Russian staffers. [nL5N1KM3ZT]

It Used To Be uncertain if Trump Used To Be joking in his feedback, his first substantive reaction to Putin’s move.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to journalists after a Safety briefing with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster (L) and ?vice president Mike Pence? (R) at Trump’s golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S. August 10, 2017.Jonathan Ernst

Nicholas Burns, formerly the State Division’s 0.33-ranking reputable, referred to as Trump’s feedback “grotesque.”

“If he Used To Be joking, he will have to know better,” said Burns, now a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of government. “If he wasn’t, it is remarkable. A president has never defended the expulsion of our diplomats.”

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Trump’s remarks are at odds with the State Department’s reaction to Putin’s order. A State Division official on July 30 known as the Russian transfer “a regrettable and uncalled-for act.”

Trump additionally said he has now not given any idea to the possibility of firing unique counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating conceivable collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia.

He mentioned he Was stunned with the aid of the FBI raid final month on his former marketing campaign supervisor, Paul Manafort, adding that it despatched a “sturdy signal.”

Reporting with the aid of Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay; Extra reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Enhancing by means of Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler

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