Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling US Diplomats

“I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.” 

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday.Evan Vucci/AP

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In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was expelling 755 US diplomatic staff members in retaliation for Congress’ unanimous decision to impose new sanctions on Russia. On Thursday, President Donald Trump responded by saying thank you.

“I want to thank him,” Trump said at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, “because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.” 

Below is Trump’s full response. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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