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 BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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