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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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