Thanks for expelling US diplomats, it reduces our payroll, Trump tells Putin

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US President Donald Trump has thanked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for expelling 755 American diplomats in retaliation to additional sanctions on Moscow approved by the US Congress.

Commenting on the matter while taking questions from reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump suggested that the move by Russia is financially advantageous to the U.S.

“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,” Trump said. It was unclear whether he was joking.

Read also: US SANCTIONS: Russia intensifies retaliation, expels 755 US diplomats

The move by Russia to expel 755 US diplomats came a day after the United States Senate approved a measure to expand economic sanctions against Russia, as well as against Iran and North Korea.

Russia has been condemned by the US for its alleged hacks aimed at swaying the Nov. 8 election for Trump, but Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering both in the French election by hacking and leaking emails and documents of U.S. intelligence agencies during the last elections.


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